The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.
● FL-27: When longtime GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen announced that she was retiring, it was clear the GOP was in for a tough fight to hold this Miami-area seat. Still, while Florida's 27th District shifted from 53-46 Obama all the way to 59-39 Clinton, Republicans still do well down-ballot here, so we expected Team Red to put up a stiff fight. But right now, it's the Democratic candidates who are hoarding cash, while the Republican candidates are acting like all hope is lost.
When Raquel Regalado, a former member of the Miami-Dade County school board and the daughter of termed-out Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, was considering running, she looked like she'd check all the boxes the GOP wanted. Regalado has hosted a well-known Spanish-language radio show, and the self-described moderate could have reminded voters of Ros-Lehtinen. But while Regalado announced she was running in late May, she took two months to even open a campaign fundraising account. Regalado then proceeded to raise just $15,000 for the third quarter, an absolutely jaw-droppingly low sum. We've seen highly-touted candidates underwhelm many times in the past, but usually not this badly, and it's not clear what's up.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruno Barreiro jumped in back in May, and unlike Regalado, he actually did start raising money. Barreiro took in $176,000 during his first two months in the race, an ok but not incredible haul, but he raised just $42,000 over the following three months. Barreiro had $187,000 left in the bank at the end of September. And as for Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera, the former Doral city councilor who said she'd been abducted by aliens, she raised $5,000. Team Red still has a large bench in this area, and they may be able to find someone better to run. But right now, none of the Republicans are acting at all like they're ready for a tough race.
And how do the Democrats compare? We'll put it this way: Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez was by far the weakest fundraiser of the six noteworthy candidates who have announced, and she alone has almost as much money as those three Republicans combined. Gonzalez, who announced before Ros-Lehtinen decided to retire, brought in only $49,000 for the quarter, and she had $196,000 on-hand at the end of September. The strongest Democratic fundraiser was Matt Haggman, a former Miami Herald reporter who recently stepped down as Miami program director for the Knight Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes journalism. Haggman raised $510,000 during his first two months in the race, and he had $469,000 on-hand.
Several other Democrats will have access to money. Mary Barzee Flores, a former state judge, brought in $303,000 during her inaugural quarter, and she had $233,000 in the bank. State Sen. José Javier Rodríguez raised a similar $272,000 and had $213,000 on-hand. State Rep. David Richardson took in $264,000 from donors and self-funded another $250,000, and he had $441,000 on-hand. Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell only announced he was running after the fundraising deadline, but he'd been fundraising for months. Russell brought in $222,000 during the third quarter, and he had $247,000 on-hand.
3Q 2017 Fundraising
● MI-Sen: John James (R): $309,000 raised, $216,000 cash-on-hand; Robert Young, Jr. (R): $156,000 raised, $102,000 cash-on-hand
● CA-Sen: Now this is interesting. Democratic pollster Sextant Strategies, on behalf of the newspaper Capitol Weekly, has conducted the first public survey of California's Senate race since state Senate President Kevin de León announced a challenge to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a fellow Democrat. In a three-way matchup that also features wealthy Republican businessman John Cox, Feinstein takes 40, while Cox gets 32 and de León 14.
But despite the seemingly large gap, these numbers are good news for de León. For starters, Feinstein, despite her long service and universal name recognition, is only at 40 percent; in 2012, she took 49 percent in the top-two primary. Second, Cox isn't actually running for the Senate—he's running for governor—and Sextant acknowledges that they're merely using him as a stand-in. Now, Cox is a freakshow who's run for office many times before in Illinois (and once for president), but he does have money, and he did actually seed his gubernatorial campaign with $1 million. That's more than the GOP's 2012 Senate candidate, Elizabeth Emken, raised all cycle, so that puts Cox a cut above whoever runs for the Republicans this time—and so far, they've got literally no one.
But that brings us to our third and perhaps most important point: Despite having been pushed to the brink of extinction, California Republicans are unlikely to coalesce around just one semi-credible candidate. Indeed, in last year's Senate race, several very weak candidates split the primary vote so badly that two Democrats advanced to the general election, and in 2012, Emken only took 13 percent amidst another fractured field. (She was "lucky" enough to move on to November's slaughter because no other serious Democrats challenged Feinstein.)
This all means the very hypothetical 32 percent going to "Cox" right now is likely the GOP's high-water mark. It would only take three or maybe even just two Republicans of similarly weak caliber to foment another split that would allow de León to grab the second slot. Of course, from there he'd face the monumentally difficult task of beating Feinstein in a general election, but even in a two-way matchup, the incumbent only leads 36-17, with 28 percent (many of whom might be Republicans) saying they'd vote for neither candidate and 19 percent undecided.
However, just as de León would benefit greatly from a multi-candidate GOP field, he can't afford to let any other Democratic challengers gain traction. And unfortunately for de León, that's largely out of his hands. Wealthy financial entrepreneur Joseph Sanberg recently told the San Francisco Chronicle's Joe Garofoli that he was still considering a bid of his own, in an interview that took place after de León launched his own campaign. And political commentator Cenk Uygur, who hosts the news show "The Young Turks," is reportedly looking at the race, too. That's more than a little odd, though, because CNN recently reported that Uygur's co-host, Ana Kasparian, is also thinking about running, so who knows? In addition, billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer has publicly said he could join, too.
But this is definitely a case where more would not be the merrier, at least on the Democratic side. De León (and progressives supporting him) need other Democrats to stay out, and they need Republicans to jump in. Whether things will in fact unfold this way is anyone's guess, but if they do, at least Sextant's poll suggests de León could have a real shot at setting up a face-to-face matchup with Feinstein in November of next year.
● TN-Sen: After Republican Sen. Bob Corker announced his retirement last month, former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen initially said he wasn't interested in running for office again, but then soon flipped to say that he would in fact consider a Senate bid. Now Bredesen has offered a vague timeline, saying he'll decide "in the next few weeks." But Democrats—including Bredesen himself—need to think long and hard about whether he'd truly be a savior, or if he'd be more likely to wind up like former Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh or former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, who both waged unsuccessful comeback bids in red states last year after leaving office at the start of 2011, the same year Bredesen also left the governorship.
● WY-Sen: Zillionaire conservative mega-donor Foster Friess seems awfully confused. On the one hand, he says he's still considering a challenge to GOP Sen. John Barrasso. On the other hand, he's now also claiming he rejects Steve Bannon's call to arms against the Republican establishment, saying, "I do not intend to raise money to defeat fellow Republicans." The only way to square this circle would be if Barrasso were to retire, but he's only 65, which is spry for the Senate, and he's certainly acting as though he's seeking re-election. Otherwise, if Friess really does want to run for the Senate, well, yep, he's gonna have to raise money to defeat a fellow Republican.
● CT-Gov: Fundraising reports covering the period of July 1 to Sept. 30 are in, but Connecticut's complicated campaign finance system makes it tough to make an apples-to-apples comparison.
As CT Mirror's Mark Pazniokas explains, most contenders are trying to qualify for the state's public financing program, which would give them a budget of $1.6 million. However, to qualify, candidates need to raise $250,000 in $100 donations, which is a tough task. To make things even more confusing, campaign exploratory committees can accept donations of up to $375, so not all the money raised can be used to qualify for the public financing program. Anyone who qualifies only gets their $1.6 million after the May party conventions, so they also need to make sure they have enough money to stay in the race until then.
We'll start with a look at the Democrats. Most people raising money are still only officially exploring a bid, because exploratory mode confers certain fundraising advantages that are lost once one becomes an official candidate. So far, Middletown Mayor Dan Drew is the only Democrat who has announced a bid. Drew may have been hoping that, by diving in before anyone else, he could jump-start his fundraising, but it doesn't seem to be working out. Drew only raised $54,000 for the quarter, and he had only $20,000 on-hand at the end of September, which is less than anyone in either party.
Among Democrats who are officially exploring, Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim raised the most during the quarter, taking in $110,000. Ganim had $88,000 in the bank, which is more than any other Democrat. However, Ganim may not be able to get public financing no matter what he raises. Ganim went to prison for seven years for corruption earlier in the decade before he won back his seat in 2015, and state law prohibits felons from qualifying for the public finance system. Ganim is currently suing the state to overturn the law.
Former federal prosecutor Chris Mattei raised $105,000 for the quarter and had $73,000 on-hand, while ex-Consumer Protection head Jonathan Harris raised $82,000 and had $46,000 to spend. Dita Bhargava, a former state party vice chair, began raising money only a few weeks before the reporting deadline, and she took in $53,000 and had $46,000 on-hand. In October, former Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Affairs Sean Connolly also entered the race.
However, there's still one big Democratic name out. Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said in May that she'd consider after the state budget was done… but that's taking a lot longer than expected. Legislative leaders have been working on a bipartisan proposal without input from outgoing Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy, but it's far from clear how long it will take for this messy process to resolve itself. It's very possible that Democratic donors are waiting to hear from Wyman before opening up their wallets, and even a few Democrats have said they won't run if she does.
We'll turn to the GOP, which is optimistic that Malloy's horrible poll numbers and Connecticut's financial struggles will give them a big opening next year. Hedge fund manager David Stemerman decided to skip exploratory mode and dive right in, and he quickly threw down $1.8 million of his own money: Safe to say, he's not bothering with public financing. Former business executive Bob Stefanowski raised $65,000 from donors and self-funded another $250,000.
State Rep. Prasad Srinivasan brought in $50,000 for the quarter, and he says he's already raised the required $250,000 in small donations he needs to qualify for public financing. Srinivasan had $222,000 on-hand, more than all but the two self-funding GOP contenders.
Other Republicans look like they're on their way to qualifying, though again, it's tough to tell who is raising the right amount of money in the necessary small amounts. Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti raised $85,000 for the quarter and had $157,000 on-hand. Attorney Peter Lumaj, who is officially in exploratory mode, raised $92,000 for the period and had $130,000 on-hand, while businessman Steve Obsitnik, who recently announced he was officially running, raised $66,000 and had $110,000 to spend.
Michael Handler, who served as Stamford's director of administration, raised $117,000 during his inaugural quarter (Handler skipped exploratory mode and dove right in) and had about $100,000 in the bank. Former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker announced he was switching from exploring to running over the summer; Walker raised $118,000, and rolled over another $45,000 from his old exploratory committee, to have just shy of $100,000 on-hand.
A few other Republicans are a bit further back. Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst, another declared candidate, fell just short of raising $50,000, and he had $78,000 on-hand. Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, who is exploring a bid, brought in only $34,000 and had $89,000 in the bank, though he had brain surgery during the quarter. State Sen. Toni Boucher, who is also exploring, took in $43,000 and had $38,000 left.
● GA-Gov: Landmark Communications is the latest pollster to venture into Georgia's GOP gubernatorial primary, and they unsurprisingly find Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle with a large lead. Cagle takes 35 percent, followed by ex-state Sen. Hunter Hill at 9 percent, Secretary of State Brian Kemp at 7 percent, and no other candidate topping 4 percent. These numbers are similar to a McLaughlin poll from early in October that Cagle's campaign released, which had him leading Kemp by 41-12.
While Cagle attains a big edge in both surveys, much of that is likely just a function of the longtime lieutenant governor's superior name recognition, which is an advantage he may not be able to maintain once his opponents start running TV ads. There's still a long way to go until next year's primary, and there will be a runoff if no one surpasses 50 percent.
Meanwhile on the Democratic side, the state AFL-CIO endorsed former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams. Abrams faces a Democratic primary against fellow ex-state Rep. Stacey Evans.
● HI-Gov: State House Minority Leader Andria Tupola, who'd been considering a gubernatorial bid, has now confirmed she'll run and promises a formal kickoff next month. Tupola is the highest-ranking GOP elected official in Hawaii, but that's not saying much: Republicans hold no statewide or congressional posts, and they just five seats in the 51-member state House and none at all in the state Senate. Another one of those five Republican House members, state Rep. Bob McDermott, is also seeking the GOP nod. Meanwhile, Democratic Gov. David Ige faces a heavyweight primary challenge from Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.
● IL-Gov: Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner doesn't face a primary challenger for 2018, at least not yet, but his recent signing of a Democratic-backed law that allows taxpayer funding of abortions has deeply angered many in the state GOP. The latest Republican to express skepticism over Rauner's future is powerful Rep. Peter Roskam, who represents the sort of suburban Chicago-area district that Rauner will likely need to do well enough to win re-election. Roskam recently stated that he has to "re-evaluate" his support for Rauner, although he didn't indicate whether or not he would support a potential primary challenger.
● VA-Gov: Democrat Ralph Northam has two new ads in Virginia's gubernatorial election. The first one features the executive director of a children's hospice singing Northam's praises for serving as their volunteer medical director for the past 18 years, saying "he's made such a difference in so many families' lives." Northam then appears on screen to declare that he wants every Virginian to be able to afford good health care when they need it most.
Northam's second spot attacks his Republican opponent as "Enron Ed Gillespie" for selling out as a lobbyist by working for Enron, Wall Street banks, companies that outsource jobs, and to keep student loan rates high. Northam ties Gillespie to Trump on health care, warning that the Trumpcare plan that Gillespie supports would take away coverage from thousands of Virginians.
Of course, Northam doesn't have the airwaves to himself. Americans for Prosperity, which functions as the campaign arm of the Koch Brothers' political network, announced that it will spend at least $1 million on mailers and digital ads attacking Northam over taxes, education, and economic development. The Virginia Public Access Project had previously reported that the Koch-affiliated group had already spent $1.8 million on TV attack ads and mailers against Northam.
● AL-02: Rep. Martha Roby faces a GOP primary challenge from state Rep. Barry Moore in this safely red Montgomery-area seat, but so far, Moore's fundraising isn't exactly on fire. From July to September, Moore raised just $30,000, and he has only $43,000 in the bank. Roby brought in $260,000 during this period, and she has $402,000 to spend.
Still, it's possible that Roby has made enough enemies that even an underfunded primary foe could give her a hard time. Last year, Roby pissed off local conservatives when she said she wouldn't vote for Trump after the Access Hollywood tape was released, and her detractors launched a general election write-in campaign. While Trump carried her Montgomery-area seat 65-33, Roby turned back her underfunded Democratic rival only 49-41, with the rest going to write-ins.
● AL-05: While Rep. Mo Brooks' Senate bid went down in flames in the first round of the GOP primary, he looks like he's in much better shape as he seeks renomination to this safely red Huntsville-area seat. At the end of September, Brooks had $560,000 in his war-chest, while Clayton Hinchman, a businessman and Iraq veteran, had only $30,000 available. State Sen. Bill Holtzclaw had just $10,000 on-hand.
Over the summer, while Brooks was running against appointed GOP Sen. Luther Strange in the primary, Hinchman announced that he would run for Brooks' House seat even if Brooks sought re-election. It did not escape notice that Hinchman's general consultant was Ward Baker, a key ally of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnellworld usually shows no interest in House races, but this looked like an attempt to distract Brooks and convince him not to spend much more money against Strange, who had McConnell's support. Now that Brooks has lost the Senate race (and so has Strange, for that matter), it doesn't seem like the McConnell network has any more interest in retaliating against Brooks.
● AZ-01: Freshman Democratic Rep. Tom O'Halleran should be a GOP top target in this 48-47 Trump seat, but state Sen. Steve Smith has turned in some lackluster fundraising so far. O'Halleran outraised Smith $305,000 to $45,000 in the last quarter, and he has a $609,000 to $123,000 cash-on-hand edge. Former Pinal County Deputy Sheriff Kevin Cavanaugh, who is also running, did not file any fundraising reports. We'll see if Smith's fundraising picks up, or if someone stronger seeks this seat, which includes northern Arizona and Tucson's northern suburbs.
● AZ-02: Ex-Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, a Democrat who represented the neighboring 1st District until she unsuccessfully ran for the Senate last year, announced over the summer that she would challenge sophomore GOP Rep. Martha McSally in this Tucson-area seat. While Kirkpatrick's Senate bid against John McCain did not go well, she's been through several tough House races in the 1st, so it's not surprising she brought a strong fundraising network to this seat. During her first quarter in the race, Kirkpatrick raised $338,000, and she had $269,000 on-hand at the end of September.
The only other Democrat with more than $100,000 in the bank is Matt Heinz, a former state representative who lost to McSally 57-43 last year. Heinz entered the race in June and he quickly raised $181,000, but he didn't match that over the following three months. Heinz raised $61,000 for the quarter, and he had $186,000 on-hand. Mary Matiella, a former assistant secretary of the Army, took in only $60,000 for the quarter and had just $57,000 in the bank, while neither ex-state Rep. Bruce Wheeler nor hotel manager Billy Kovacs raised so much as $10,000 over the last three months.
This seat, which includes part of Tucson as well as conservative Cochise County, swung from 50-48 Romney to 50-45 Clinton, but McSally will have more than enough money to put up a fight. McSally has a well-deserved reputation as a strong fundraiser, and she brought in $926,000 for the quarter from donors. The only House candidate anywhere to raise more money without self-funding is Wisconsin Democrat Randy Bryce, who took in $1.03 million for his campaign against Speaker Paul Ryan. McSally ended September with $1.45 million in the bank.
● AZ-09: Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is leaving behind this Phoenix-area House seat to run for the Senate, and Democratic Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton quickly announced that he would run to succeed her. This seat went from 51-47 Obama to 55-38 Clinton, and Team Blue should be favored to keep it, but Republicans do at least have one noteworthy candidate. Retired Navy physician Steve Ferrara raised $140,000 during the third quarter, and he had $379,000 in the bank at the end of September; Sinema announced she would run for the Senate a few days later.
● CA-04: This seat, which stretches from the Sacramento area through Yosemite, backed Trump 54-39, and five-term GOP Rep. Tom McClintock hasn't looked vulnerable at all since his tight 2008 win. So it came as a surprise to us when Democrat Jessica Morse, who served as a national security strategist for the Department of Defense, the State Department, and USAID, outraised McClintock $263,000 to $150,000 during the last quarter. Fellow Democrat Regina Bateson, a former State Department officer, also brought in just shy of $100,000 over the last three months as well.
At the end of September, McClintock had a modest $354,000 to $248,000 cash-on-hand lead over Morse, while Bateson had $123,000 to spend. This seat, which is centered around Placer and El Dorado Counties not far from Sacramento, is still a tough nut to crack, but this one may be worth watching.
● IN-02: GOP Rep. Jackie Walorski picked up her second Democratic foe on Thursday when businessman Yatish Joshi jumped in. Joshi, an Indian immigrant who founded a company that makes military large-scale water containers, does have one interesting political connection in this South Bend-area seat. Joshi immediately earned an endorsement from Joe Kernan, a former South Bend mayor and Indiana's most recent Democratic governor.
Walorski already faces a challenge from businessman Mel Hall, who is reportedly wealthy. This seat went from 56-42 Romney to 59-36 Trump, and Hall sounds unwilling to pick a fight with Trump here, saying "the jury is still out" about whether he's a good president. By contrast, Joshi pulled no punches and declared that Trump "has no policies. Whatever comes to his mind at that moment, that is the policy." This is very much a reach target, but Democrats hope that Walorski's narrow 2012 win in an open seat race means she can be vulnerable in a good year.
● MA-09: On Thursday, businessman Peter Tedeschi announced that he would seek the GOP nomination to take on Democratic incumbent Bill Keating. This seat, which includes Cape Cod as well as well as communities in the South Shore south of Boston, backed Obama 56-43 and Clinton 53-42, but it's considerably more friendly to the GOP in down-ballot races. In 2012, Republican Sen. Scott Brown won the 9th 51-49 as he was losing to Elizabeth Warren 54-46; the next year, Republican Gabriel Gomez carried the seat 53-46 as he was losing the special Senate election to Democrat Ed Markey 55-45. Republican Charlie Baker won 53-42 here as he was narrowly winning the 2014 gubernatorial campaign 48-47.
Tedeschi himself enters the race with some built-in name-identification. Tedeschi's family founded the convenience store chair Tedeschi Food Shops, and the company says there are 181 locations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Tedeschi is a former CEO of the company, so he may have plenty of connections and personal wealth.
However, Keating is far from a pushover. Keating won a difficult open seat race here during the 2010 GOP wave 47-42, and he decisively won his next three terms. The GOP made some effort to unseat Keating during the 2014 GOP wave, but he beat businessman John Chapman 55-45. Keating had about $1 million in the bank at the end of September.
● MD-06: On Thursday, emergency-room pediatrician Nadia Hashimi announced that she would seek the Democratic nomination to succeed retiring Rep. John Delaney in this 55-40 Clinton seat, which includes part of Montgomery County and northern Maryland.
As we noted when she filed in September, Hashimi has an unusual background that could make her stand out in a crowded primary field: She was born in the U.S. to immigrant parents who left Afghanistan a few years before the Soviets invaded in 1979, and her husband is also an Afghan immigrant who left the country as a teenager amid the end of the Soviet occupation. Hashimi has capitalized on her family's story to become a best-selling novelist whose stories are set in Afghanistan and detail the experiences of immigrants and refugees, particularly women. Hashimi began raising money in the final weeks of September, and while she only raised $55,000 from donors during that brief time, she self-funded another $230,000, and she had $281,000 in the bank.
Of course, Hashimi is far from the top Democratic self-funder in the primary. David Trone, the extremely wealthy owner of Total Wine and More, spent $13 million of his own money on his unsuccessful primary bid for the neighboring 8th District, and he's already invested $750,000 into his new campaign. However, Trone already has spent nearly all of that money, with much of his spending going to consulting and research. Trone, who raised $43,000 from people not named David Trone, had only $57,000 left in the bank, but he should replenish that very quickly.
Two Democratic legislators are also seeking this seat. State Del. Aruna Miller, who came to the U.S. from India as a child, began raising money months before Delaney announced that he would leave to run for president, and she took in another $204,000 for the quarter. At the end of September, Miller had $525,000 on-hand. State Sen. Roger Manno took in $193,000 during his inaugural quarter, and he had $171,000 cash-on-hand.
● NY-22: The DCCC's in-house polling arm is out with a survey of this upstate seat, and they give Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi a 45-43 edge over Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney. This district, which includes Utica, Rome, and Binghamton, went from a very narrow Romney win all the way to 55-39 Trump, but this sample gives Trump an underwater 41-52 approval rating. The memo also highlights that Speaker Paul Ryan is even more unpopular with a 26-52 unfavorable score. National Democrats are excited about Brindisi, who outraised the incumbent $184,000 to $413,000 in his opening quarter.
● OH-12: Republicans got their first notable candidate for this suddenly-open seat when Delaware County Prosecuting Attorney Carol O'Brien jumped in on Friday. O'Brien's Delaware base makes up about a quarter of the seat, so O'Brien should start out with some name recognition in this suburban Columbus seat. A number of other Republicans are considering joining the primary to replace GOP Rep. Pat Tiberi, who will resign by Jan. 31 to take a lobbying job, in this 53-42 Trump seat. It's unclear at this point if the special election primaries will be held on the same day as the regularly scheduled May statewide primaries.
● PA-07: On Friday, former teacher Paul Perry dropped out of the Democratic primary to face GOP Rep. Pat Meehan. Perry made a splash in July with his announcement video, where he highlighted his prominent background. Perry, who is the adoptive son of two male military veterans, notably declared, "I had gay parents before it was cool." However, Perry raised just $61,000 during the last quarter, and he argued that the high cost of running for office was a bad sign for American democracy as he exited the race.
This suburban Philadelphia seat shifted to the left last year, going from 50-49 Romney to 47-47 Clinton, and Democrats are hoping a good environment will give them an opening. But Meehan, who previously served as Delaware County's district attorney, has worked hard to cultivate a moderate image, and he's also a very strong fundraiser. Meehan brought in $305,000 for the quarter, and he had $2.46 million in the bank at the end of September.
One Democrat did manage to outraise Meehan over the last three months. State Sen. Daylin Leach, who unsuccessfully ran in the neighboring 13th District in 2014 but lives in the 7th, took in $384,000 during his first quarter in the race, and he had $200,000 on-hand. Attorney Dan Muroff, who ran in the 2nd District last year, raised $72,000 and self-funded another $42,000, and he had $220,000 in the bank. Bioengineer Molly Sheehan only raised $3,000, but she invested $70,000 of her own money into the campaign and had $181,000 in the bank. One other Democrat, realtor Elizabeth Moro, had only $7,000 on-hand.
● TX-03: Some open seats set off massive primaries, and some … don't. GOP state Sen. Van Taylor is the only noteworthy candidate seeking to succeed longtime GOP Rep. Sam Johnson in this Dallas-area seat, and no one else has shown any interest in jumping in. Taylor raised $500,000 during his first quarter in the race and self-funded another $500,000, giving him a $916,000 war-chest. Taylor, who already represents almost the entire area of the 3rd District in the state Senate, also earned received endorsement from Gov. Greg Abbott. Democrats also haven't shown any interest in targeting this 55-41 Trump seat.
● UT-04: On behalf of the Salt Lake Tribune and the University of Utah, Dan Jones & Associates takes a look at the general election here, and they give Republican Rep. Mia Love a 48-42 lead over Democrat Ben McAdams, the mayor of Salt Lake County. McAdams announced his bid on Wednesday for this seat, which backed Trump 39-32, while conservative independent Evan McMullin took 22 percent.