Pre-primary fundraising for Sand not yet available
FARGO – The two front-runners for North Dakota’s U.S. Senate seat have collected nearly $1 million in contributions in just eight weeks, newly filed reports to the Federal Election Commission show.
Between April 1 and May 23, Democrat Heidi Heitkamp took in $497,000 in campaign contributions and joint fundraising, while Republican Rep. Rick Berg collected $443,300 from similar sources during that same period.
However, neither Heitkamp’s nor Berg’s campaign are releasing details about the source of these latest donations. As of 1:30 p.m., Republican challenger Duane Sand had not released any information about his pre-primary fundraising.
Last night was the deadline for North Dakota’s federal candidates to file their pre-primary fundraising figures, which cover the period from April 1 through May 23.
The statewide primary is June 12. Heitkamp is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination, while Berg and Sand are competing for the official GOP nomination.
Candidates can either file electronically on the FEC’s website or submit their reports by postal mail. Heitkamp and Berg have typically opted for the latter, a move that delays public access to their full reports by at least a week.
(Senate candidates are exempt from an FEC requirement that mandates any campaign committee that raises $50,000 or more to file electronically. They’re required to file paper reports with the secretary of the Senate; however, the FEC encourages those candidates to also file unofficial electronic copies.)
Heitkamp’s campaign spokesman Brandon Lorenz and Berg’s campaign spokesman Chris Van Guilder both provided the summary pages of their candidates’ pre-primary reports today, but each declined a request by The Forum for a copy of the entire report.
The Forum has also requested a full pre-primary report from Sand.
According to the summary pages of Heitkamp’s latest report, she collected $393,400 in total contributions between April 1 and May 23.
Of that, 80 percent – or $316,700 – came from individual donors. Political action committees and special-interest groups donated $76,300, or 20 percent of her latest haul.
In addition to those contributions, Heitkamp’s campaign also received $102,800 in transfers from authorized committees, which represent her collaborative fundraising efforts with other Senate candidates and key Senate Democrats.
Just this week, for instance, Heitkamp participated in another major fundraiser in California. Influential Senate Democrat Dianne Feinstein held a $35,800-per-couple fundraiser to benefit Senate hopefuls, like Heitkamp, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
FEC records show Heitkamp is now tied to at least eight joint-fundraising committees. Since Jan. 1, Heitkamp has received $224,400 from those fundraising efforts, according to the FEC.
Between contributions directly to her campaign and the joint fundraising efforts, Heitkamp collected $497,100 in April and May, her report shows.
As of May 23, Heitkamp’s campaign had collected more than $1.4 million in contributions since the start of her Senate bid in November. She reports $760,000 in cash on hand and no debt.
Meanwhile, Berg’s summary report shows he collected about $435,700 in total contributions during the eight-week stretch since he secured North Dakota Republicans’ endorsement in the U.S. Senate race.
Of that total, $299,700 – or 69 percent – came from individuals, while $136,000 – or 31 percent – came from political parties and special-interest groups.
In addition to those contributions, Berg also received $7,600 in transfers from authorized committees. In April, Berg became affiliated with several joint-fundraising committees with other Senate Republican hopefuls.
Between the joint-fundraising efforts and direct contributions to his campaign, Berg took in $443,300 between April 1 and May 23.
Since he launched his Senate run more than a year ago, Berg has raised nearly $3 million, his FEC report shows.
As of May 23, Berg reported $1.6 million in cash on hand – more than twice as much as Heitkamp has in the bank.
However, Berg also reports $104,500 in unpaid debts, $100,000 of which is a personal loan Berg gave to his campaign fund back when he was running for U.S. House in 2010.
Posted: 11:57 a.m. Updated: 1:40 p.m.
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