With less than a month until the primary, campaign funds are pouring in

DOVER — Gubernatorial hopeful Julianne Murray outraised her Republican competitors through the first eight-and-a-half months of 2020. Campaign finance reports filed with the Department of Elections this week, one month before the Sept. 15 primary, indicate Ms. Murray brought in $65,600 in outside contributions.

Six Republicans are seeking the GOP nomination for the governor’s seat, fueled in part by anger over COVID-19 restrictions. Of the four who filed the required finance reports, Ms. Murray raised more money in donations than the other three candidates combined.

Julianne Murray

Ms. Murray, who the state party voted to endorse at the convention last month, also reported receiving $4,200 in campaign loans. She spent almost $34,400, leaving her with $35,400.

State Sen. Colin Bonini, who represents the Dover area and was the party’s 2016 gubernatorial nominee, pulled in $8,000 in donations and loaned himself $40,000. He had $25,400 left unspent as of Aug. 16.

Fellow state Sen. Bryant Richardson raised about $13,400 and loaned himself $7,900. The Seaford resident was left with a nice little sum of $6,900 on hand. His donors include three current or former state lawmakers.

David Bosco raised $1,900 and loaned himself $13,300. He had $7,800 available to spend still.

On the Democratic side, Gov. John Carney added $41,700 to the $468,000 left in his account. He spent $96,000 from Jan. 1 to Aug. 16, leaving him with $414,000.

Running for a second term, Gov. Carney is facing a primary from David Lamar Williams Jr. Mr. Williams, who is expected to lose handily, did not file a financial report.

John Carney

Among spending coming from non-candidates, the group Citizens for Transparency and Inclusion stands out. A political action committee funded by a disgruntled businessman with an ax to grind over a Chancery Court ruling, it has pledged to spend at least $1 million opposing Gov. Carney’s reelection campaign. The PAC reported expending nearly $148,000 on ads two months ago.

Few PACs will likely have more influence on the campaign than Responsible Delaware. Founded by Sen. Bonini in 2009, it received $100,000 from Chris Kenny, owner of Kenny Family Shoprites, last month. Responsible Delaware spent $27,000, leaving it with plenty of money left over to boost Sen. Bonini or others in the upcoming weeks and months.

Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro is also being opposed as he seeks four more years. Mr. Navarro, a Democrat, raised $11,300 while spending $59,000. Coupled with a six-figure sum remaining from his 2016 campaign, he had almost $66,500 on hand to spend.

His challenger, Kayode Abegunde, raised $4,400 from others, loaned himself $400 and spent slightly more than $4,300.

Several legislative primaries have seen fairly notable spending as well.

In a Democratic primary for the Glasgow-area 27th Representative District, both challenger Eric Morrison and Rep. Earl Jaques raised five-figure sums. Mr. Morrison pulled in $22,200 and spent $38,000, leaving him with $22,300 to use before the primary. Rep. Jaques collected almost $10,400 and spent $17,400, with $17,600 remaining.

In the 26th Representative District, the longest-serving active member of the House is also facing a Democratic primary. Rep. John Viola is being challenged by Madinah Wilson-Anton for the Newark-area seat he has held for 22 years.

Rep. Viola raised $15,900 and spent $35,300, giving him $34,300 still to use. Ms. Wilson-Anton, who like Mr. Morrison is trying to beat an incumbent by running from the left, reported $33,500 in donations through Aug. 16. She spent $20,000, with a bit more than $28,200 remaining.

The only Downstate House district with a primary is the 34th, just south of Dover, where Democrats Bob Haynes and Ade Kuforiji are competing for the right to challenge the GOP incumbent. Mr. Haynes has a slight edge in campaign finance, having spent $2,300 with almost $3,100 remaining to Mr. Kuforiji’s $1,000 in expenses and $1,100 in remaining funds.

There’s also just one Senate district in Kent or Sussex counties with a primary, although it has contests among Republicans and Democrats. That’s the 14th Senatorial District, which centers on Smyrna but stretches into both Kent and New Castle counties.

Bruce Ennis

Sen. Bruce Ennis, one of the longest-serving lawmakers in Delaware history, raised $14,800 and barely spent any of it, while fellow Democrat Kyra Hoffner reported $4,900 in donations with $3,600 unspent. The third competitor in that race, Terrell Williams, did not file a report.

On the Republican side, Craig Pugh far outraised Terrance Baker, $24,700 to $3,900. Mr. Pugh also loaned himself $5,000.

Mr. Baker had a little more than $600 remaining, while Mr. Pugh had almost $13,700.

No legislative candidate has demonstrated the kind of pull that Sarah McBride has. Ms. McBride, one of two Democrats running in the 1st Senatorial District, raised $73,200 through the initial eight-and-a-half months of 2020 and had $143,100 remaining.

She is a heavy favorite to become the next senator for the district, which stretches from north Wilmington to the Pennsylvania state line, and in doing so make history as one of the first openly transgender individuals elected to a legislative seat in the nation.

Also worth noting is the 13th Senatorial District primary, where Marie Pinkney is trying to upend Democratic President Pro Tempore David McBride. Sen. McBride, the leading member of the chamber, raised $31,000 and spent $104,000. Ms. Pinkney, who is trying to win the seat held by Sen. McBride for 40 years, raised almost $21,200 and spent $12,300.