Hot race in 8th District brings in $641K for Nolan

WASHINGTON — A hotly contested race for the 8th District congressional seat has been a fundraising boon for DFL Rep. Rick Nolan. His campaign is set to announce that Nolan raised at least $641,000 in the three months ending Sept. 30, far exceeding past fundraising quarters.

Nolan is in one of the most hotly contested House races in the country against Republican candidate Stewart Mills. Nolan’s haul is more than double the $285,000 he raised last quarter and also substantially exceeds his best quarter of fundraising in the 2012 cycle when he unseated one term Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack. So far, Nolan has raised about $1.7 million towards his re-election.

Federal Election Commission records show that outside groups not affiliated with either campaign have spent nearly $5 million to influence the outcome.

The average donation was $72 per donor, which Nolan’s campaign pointed to as evidence of grassroots support. The campaign did not disclose how much cash it held.

“I’m humbled and inspired by our support, which now gives our campaign the resources we need to keep fighting to rebuild the middle class,” said Nolan in a statement issued by his campaign.

Nolan served in Congress from 1975 to 1981 before returning in 2013 after defeating Cravaack. Nolan has frequently complained about the emphasis placed on fundraising by party leaders to the detriment of legislating. Fellow Democrats have not been shy about telling Nolan to step up his fundraising after a series of lackluster quarters. Mills is independently wealthy and had loaned his campaign nearly $170,000 at last report.

A spokeswoman for the Mills campaign said it planned to release its fundraising totals on Oct. 15, the disclosure deadline set by the FEC.