There are three Republican candidates vying for Kansas First Congressional seat, incumbent Tim Huelskamp of Fowler, and challengers Alan LaPolice of Clyde and Roger Marshall of Great Bend.
According to federal law, all three filed their first quarter campaign finance statements with the Federal Election Commission by April 15. Below is a comparison of those statements based on information gleaned from the FEC.
• $836,573 cash on hand.
• $509,187 in receipts, $422,805 from individual sources, $80,300 from Political Action Committees and $6,082 from other sources, mostly interest earned.
• $158,964 in disbursements.
• $5,376 in debt.
• $6,044 cash on hand.
• $15,225 in receipts, all from individual sources.
• $12,977 in disbursements.
• $1,164 in debt.
• $483,859 cash on hand.
• $707,114 in receipts, $445,225 from individual sources, $43,700 from Political Action Committees, $218,175 from the candidate himself and $14 from other sources, mostly interest earned.
• $223,255 in disbursements.
• $199,000 in debt.
None of the candidates received funds from the Republican Party.
The next reports are due July 15.
The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. The primary will take place Tuesday, Aug. 2.
According to the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office, there are no Democratic candidates filed in the Big First. The filing deadline is noon, June 1.
The candidates respond
How one interprets these numbers depends on who they talk to.
“In the past three months, I have received more than a 1,000 contributions from conservatives all across Kansas,” Huelskamp said in a statement issued Saturday. “I am humbled by their generosity and support.
“With small checks of $25, $50 and $100 from hard-working Kansans, we are taking on and will defeat the Washington Insiders who are targeting our conservative principles,” he said.
“Our grassroots support is in stark contrast to the wealthy hospital CEO opponent who so desperately wants to be in Congress,” said Jim Keady, spokesman for Kansans for Huelskamp. “We know of few Kansans who have $200,000 of cash lying around, much less someone who would use it in a vain attempt to buy a Congressional seat for himself. After more than a year of getting little traction with average Kansans, multi-millionaire Roger Marshall is so desperate that he is misrepresenting how much money he actually has on hand.”
In a statement released last Friday, Marshall said his campaign has raised $700,000 and maintains $500,000 cash on hand since April 1, close to the numbers listed above.
“The continued success we’ve had is a total credit to the people of First District,” Marshall said. “Nearly 90 percent of funds we have raised have come from Kansas, and it’s a testament to the swell of grassroots support we’ve seen. Having met with thousands of voters, traveling to 46 Farm Bureau county meetings, and logging almost 25,000 miles across the state in my 2010 Dodge Ram, I can humbly say there is a groundswell of Kansans ready for change in leadership.”
He said his campaign is prepared and excited to continue on this pace . “While Tim has the career political advantage of nearly a million dollars in Washington special interest and out-of-state funding, we are gaining fast because Kansans are fed up with professional politicians who never get things done.”
LaPolice has a different approach.
“I’ll let them fight each other with money,” LaPolice said. “I’ll fight them with message.”
LaPolice said he turned down contributions in the first quarter and is biding his time before campaigning full-tilt. “I intend to run a full-scale campaign.”
But, he said it is still too early with the primary still months away. He plans to ramp up efforts come May.
Even without the campaigning, LaPolice said people are aware he’s running. When he ran against Huelskamp in the last election, he recieved 35 percent of the vote.
“I am the anti-politician,” he said. He doesn’t intend to run lots of attack ads, but instead will hop in his car and make the rounds.
“I don’t have the cost and I don’t have the overhead,” he said. “You talk about grassroots.”
Sadly, he said, “this is a money race,” adding it is time for a change in Washington.
The FEC has rules on how voters can contribute to the candidates of their choice.
Individual contributions to candidates vary from one election cycle to another, depending on the consumer price index. This year, an individual may give $2,700 per election to a candidate, $5,000 per year to a PAC, $10,000 per year to the state/district/local party committee, $33,400 to the national party committee and $100,200 for additional national party accounts (not candidates, but for such things as the convention and election legal challenges).
The term “political action committee” refers to two distinct types of political committees registered with the FEC: separate segregated funds (SSFs) and nonconnected committees.
Basically, SSFs are political committees established and administered by corporations, labor unions, membership organizations or trade associations. These committees can only solicit contributions from individuals associated with connected or sponsoring organization.
By contrast, nonconnected committees – as their name suggests – are not sponsored by or connected to any of the aforementioned entities and are free to solicit contributions from the general public.