Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Ogonowski for Congress

Congressional Quarterly notes that the Ogonowski/Tsongas special election race is closer than it's supposed to be:

The advantages that Democrat Niki Tsongas was expected to enjoy in her campaign for the Oct. 16 special House election in Massachusetts’ 5th Congressional District have come together for her. She has a widely recognized name, as the widow of the late Democratic Sen. Paul Tsonagas, who began his congressional career as the 5th District’s representative. The consistent, if not overwhelming Democratic lean in the district — which links suburbs, exurbs and old industrial cities west and north of Boston — has helped Tsongas draw campaign help from influential friends such as former President Bill Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

On top of these factors is Tsongas’ big money edge over the Republican nominee, retired Air Force officer Jim Ogonowski. Tsongas’ latest campaign finance report for activity through Sept. 26, filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) by Thursday’s deadline, showed she had raised a total of $1.9 million since entering the race to succeed Democrat Martin T. Meehan, who resigned July 1 during his eighth House term to become chancellor of University of Massachusetts at Lowell. She raised $670,000 just within the reporting period of Aug. 16 to Sept. 26 — exceeding Ogonowski’s $434,000 in receipts for his total campaign.

Yet there are some other numbers that suggest that Tsongas will not be able to let up over the final week of the campaign if she is to maintain her favored status. The Democrat’s heavy spending — including on the five-candidate Sept. 4 special election primary in which she outlasted Eileen Donoghue, a Lowell city councilwoman, by a 4 percentage-point margin — left the candidates nearly even in remaining cash with three weeks to go before the general election. Tsongas reported $241,000 in cash on hand as of Sept. 26, while Ogonowski, who had token opposition in the Republican primary, had $221,000.

Go make a donation.

Buried further down in the article is a demonstration of just how big the Democratic edge is in Congressional races -- and why your donation is needed:

Ken Spain, press secretary for the National Republican Congressional Campaign, confirmed that the GOP’s national House campaign unit had donated $5,000 to Ogonowski’s underdog campaign.

A year ago, the NRCC would have spent $100,000 on the race. Clearly their resources are dramatically reduced.

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