Money, in and of itself, does not win elections. But then again, it’s awfully hard to win without it. With that in mind, here are the latest campaign finance numbers for key candidates in the critical federal races in West Virginia for 2014.
Republican 2nd District Congresswoman and U.S. Senate candidate Shelley Moore Capito tops all fundraisers for any race. She pulled in $830,000 in the fourth quarter and has a substantial war chest of $3.7 million.
Capito’s likely opponent, Democratic Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, got a later start in the campaign. The 4th quarter was her first full fundraising period since entering the campaign last September and she collected an impressive $647,000 in October, November and December. She has $604,000 on hand now.
Fundraising increased substantially in the 4th quarter by the two leading candidates in the 3rd District Congressional race. Incumbent Democrat Nick Rahall brought in $428,000, almost as much as he had raised in the previous nine months of the year. Rahall now has $840,000 in the bank.
Republican challenger, state Senator Evan Jenkins, worked the phones in the last quarter and secured contributions totaling $202,000. He now has $367,000 in his campaign treasury.
In the 2nd District, Democratic favorite Nick Casey continues to build a substantial campaign fund. The Charleston attorney raised $95,000 in the final reporting period of 2013 and now has $548,000 in the bank.
The Republican field in the 2nd District continues to grow. There are now seven candidates in the race:
Alex Mooney, who was active in Maryland politics before moving to West Virginia a few years ago, has the most money of any GOP candidate in the race: $301,000. Charlotte Lane has $255,000 in the bank after raising $215,000 in the 4th quarter. Berkeley Springs pharmacist Ken Reed has $226,000 in his treasury, nearly all coming from a personal loan to his campaign. Ron Walters, Jr., has $63,000 on hand.
State Auditor Glen Gainer decided in early November to enter the 1st District Congressional race, so his first report includes less than two months of fundraising. The Democrat collected $70,000 and has most of that in his campaign fund.
However, Gainer has a way to go to catch his opponent, at least when it comes to raising money. Republican incumbent Congressman David McKinley collected $178,000 in the final quarter and reports $1.3 million in the bank.
Most candidates hate to raise money—imagine working the phone for hours, asking people to part with their cash—but every viable candidate must do it, and do it well.