Rep. Brad Ellsworth, who raised $560,000 over the last six months in his rural Indiana district, was confident that his fundraising levels, though below the DCCC goals, were on track to defend his seat.
“I’m spending my time focusing on representing the 8th district,” Ellsworth said. “But I’m right where I need to be to communicate with voters when the campaign begins.”
Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) raised about the same amount.
“Anytime somebody sets out a goal for you, you want to do everything you can to attain it,” Walz campaign spokesman Richard Carlbom said. “We got to $565,000; we’re incredibly proud of that number.”
Freshman Frontline Reps. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) and Ron Klein (Fla.) led the pack, each exceeding the goal with more than $1 million. Rep. Steve Kagen (Wis.) had the lowest fundraising total, at $420,000, and Reps. Michael Arcuri (N.Y.) and Ciro Rodriguez (Texas) also raised less than $500,000.
Most Democrats fell just short of the fundraising goals. In addition to Ellsworth and Walz, Reps. Heath Shuler (N.C.), Zack Space (Ohio), Nick Lampson (Texas), Paul Hodes (N.H.) and Chris Carney (Pa.) raised more than $500,000.
Rep. John Yarmuth (Ky.) raised $600,000.
They may have failed to meet the goals, but many of these Representatives should probably feel the same way Ellsworth does. Their total may not meet the $600K target, but it suggests that by next year they will have enough to defend their seats -- particularly since targeted Democrats are likely to have more help from the national parties than do their Republican challengers.
It points up the importance of efforts like this.