Townsend leads in money raised for U.S. House race

DOVER – Regardless of how it turns out, the Democratic primary for the state’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives is going to be an expensive race.

Three Democratic candidates for the House raised at least $135,000 apiece in the first quarter of 2016, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission Friday.

While 2014 Democratic state treasurer nominee Sean Barney raised the most money from Jan. 1 to March 31, state Sen. Bryan Townsend, D-Newark, leads the way overall.

Sen. Townsend, the first Democrat to enter the race, has received $358,000 with about $146,000 coming in the first quarter.

Sen. Bryan Townsend

Sen. Bryan Townsend

“Our campaign is about lifting up Delawareans who are working harder than ever, so I am proud that we are being funded by small donors in Delaware,” he said in a statement. “We have received more than 1,000 individual donations, the majority of which have been for $100 or less and more than two-thirds of which are from Delawareans.”

Mr. Barney raised $150,000 over the first three months of 2016, bringing his total sum to $231,000.

“I’m thankful for the outpouring of support for my campaign,” he said in a statement. “People are ready for leaders who put the country before themselves and who will get Washington working again.”

Former state Labor secretary Lisa Blunt Rochester reported raising $135,000 so far this year, giving her $256,000 in contributions.

Highland Woods Rep. Bryon Short, who dropped out of the race earlier this month and cited finances as the reason, lagged behind the other three. While he had $225,000 overall, he reported contributions of only $73,000 in 2016.

Among Republicans, former Wyoming Mayor Hans Reigle raised $35,000 in the first quarter. He has received $86,000 so far.

The 2014 Republican nominee, Rose Izzo, who has bragged on Twitter about not receiving any money from “Political Sugar Daddies -Big Banks -Wall Street,” raised $13, bringing her total to $30.

Ms. Blunt Rochester reported having $285,000 on hand. Sen. Townsend had $191,000, and Mr. Barney had $171,000.

Rep. Short would have had $128,000 on hand.

Mr. Reigle had about $45,000 available at the end of the reporting period, and Ms. Izzo had just under $17.

Ms. Blunt Rochester has loaned herself about $129,000, dwarfing the other candidates.

Finance information for accountant Mike Miller, a Democratic candidate, was not available.


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