Walz re-election campaign raises close to $1 million

Published 9:56 am Friday, April 22, 2016

By Mark Fischenich, Mankato Free Press

MANKATO — Congressman Tim Walz, DFL-Mankato, is approaching $1 million in fundraising for his re-election campaign, dwarfing the totals raised by Republican challenger Jim Hagedorn of Blue Earth.

Hagedorn is raising money at a more brisk pace in his rematch against Walz, who topped Hagedorn 54-46 percent in 2014, but his debts are higher than two years ago and his cash reserves are only marginally better.

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Walz’s campaign finance report for the first quarter of 2016 showed he raised just over $255,000 and spent just under $122,000. Since the start of 2015, the five-term incumbent has raised $917,151 and has $390,567 in the bank with fewer than seven months until Election Day.

Hagedorn, who raised just more than one-tenth as much as Walz in the first quarter and has just over $19,000 in the bank, put a positive spin on the numbers in his weekly update to supporters.

“Our fundraising is far ahead of the 2014 campaign, and we are doing better than previous GOP candidates at this stage of the race, with the exception of Dr. Brian Davis’s 2008 campaign,” Hagedorn wrote. “Fact is that most congressional challengers receive the vast majority of contributions during the last six months of the campaign.”

Hagedorn has receipts totaling $117,639 for the entire 2016 campaign to date, more than double what he’d accomplished at the same point in 2014. But his campaign has outstanding loans of more than $26,000, which exceed his cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission reports filed this month.