Two months from the August primary, Republican gubernatorial hopeful Scott Honour has more money for his campaign than three other candidates seeking to unseat Gov. Mark Dayton in this fall’s general election.
The most recent round of fundraising reports offer a glimpse of how Honour and three others, including the GOP endorsed candidate Jeff Johnson, Rep. Kurt Zellers and Marty Seifert, are positioned financially at the start of what’s expected to be a heated four-way primary battle to challenge Dayton.
Honour, a former investment banker from Orono, has contributed a total of $300,000 to his own campaign so far this year. That’s on top of the $257,000 from individual donors, many who live outside Minnesota, lobbyists and political action committees.
According to his latest fundraising report, Honour had roughly $227,000 in the bank at the end of May.
Meanwhile, Jeff Johnson, the party’s endorsed candidate for governor, had raised more than $42,000 by the end of last month and had about $32,000 in cash left over. That doesn’t include the $90,000 Johnson said he raised after winning the party nod on May 31.
Johnson, who had a big presence at the convention with everything from an eight minute video to personalized hotel room key cards, spent at least $34,000 to make a splash at the event. That includes $13,000 on dinner at a fine dining restaurant in Rochester, where the convention was held.
Meanwhile, Marty Seifert raised more than $140,000 this year, including a $19,500 personal loan, and had about $104,000 in the bank at the end of May. Rep. Kurt Zellers has raised $140,000 this year, including a $20,000 personal loan, and had about $95,000 in the bank at the end of May.
For his part, Dayton is better financed than all his potential challengers and doesn’t have to compete in the primary.
Since the start of the year, Dayton has raised more than $346,000 in from supporters, lobbyists and political action committees.
But he’s sitting on far more cash than that: Dayton has about $753,000 in the bank.
Meanwhile, Dayton’s campaign is getting an added boost from Washington. The Democratic Governors Association gave the local 2014 Fund about $50,000. Generally speaking, contributions to the 2014 Fund are moved to the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a political group that runs ads on behalf of DFL candidates. Dayton’s re-election campaign will be a top priority for the Alliance for a Better Minnesota this year.