Former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann continues to be the leading fundraiser in the primary campaign for the open 2nd congressional district seat, although Honolulu City Council member Tulsi Gabbard is holding her own in the race for campaign cash.

Two other Democrats — Hilo attorney Bob Marx and Office of Hawaiian Affairs counsel Esther Kiaaina — are actively campaigning but lack the financial edge of Hannemann and Gabbard. A fifth contender, Rafael del Castillo, reports being in the hole by about $15,000 for the last few months.

Hannemann reported having about $631,000 in the bank as of March 31, the end of the quarterly reporting period. Gabbard said she had about $465,000 cash on hand, according to reports filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission.

Hannemann and Gabbard, as well as U.S. Senate candidates Linda Lingle and Mazie Hirono, put out press releases last week touting their fundraising successes in anticipation of the FEC reports being made public this week. They generally like to emphasize how much money they are raising locally, a counter to the widely held public belief that people who serve in Washington, D.C. end up being more in tune with national special interests, including political action committees, than with the residents in the communities where they live.

Here’s what Hannemann said in a brief press release:

A Big Mahalo: Finally, we’d like to thank everyone who helped to make this a successful fundraising quarter for our campaign. With your kokua, we collected $250,000 from January to March, much of it from everyday Hawaii residents. Sixty percent of the contributions received for the quarter were of $100 or less, and over 80 percent came from right here in the islands. Overall, our fundraising numbers have been extremely impressive, thanks to you!

The report, however, shows Hannemann raised $245,429 in the three months ending March 31. About $213,000 came from individuals and of that about $18,000 were small contributions under $200, listed as “unitemized” — closer to 8 percent, not 60 percent. FEC reports don’t list names and addresses of donors, so it’s impossible to double check whether the unitemized money came from local or out-of-state donors.

On Monday, deputy campaign manager Tyler Dos Santos-Tam said last week’s statement referred to the number of donors, not the dollar amount. “That’s the total number of checks received,” he said, adding that the campaign has kept careful track of all donations, small and large.

Looking at the total dollar amount for the quarter, Hannemann has collected about 56 percent of his individual contributions from people who listed a Hawaii zip code. It’s closer to 50 percent when political action committee contributions are added in; most PAC money for any candidate comes from out-of-state organizations.

Hannemann took in about $37,000 from PACs this past quarter, including about $10,000 from sugar PACs like the American Sugar Cane League and the United States Beet Sugar Association.

This quarter’s contributions brought his total to about $772,000, more than $600,000 of that from individuals, according to the report.

On the expenditure side, Hannemann’s report shows he spent money on fundraisers and fundraising consultants, among other items. A March 27 fundraiser at the Ala Moana Hotel cost at least $18,000. Another fundraiser in Guam cost at least $1,169 and an event at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. cost at least $1,060, according to the report.

Another $13,400 went to Oahu Publications for fundraiser tickets and a mailer about the March 27 fundraiser.

Hannemann paid more than $10,000 to a Virginia fundraising consultant. Greenstone Strategies, a Maui consulting firm, was paid $7,500. Hannemann also spent about $5,000 on polling, the report said.

He bought advertising in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser for $20,942 and in the Hawaii Tribune Herald for $338. Raycom Media made about $8,900 for ads.

Hannemann — or someone in his camp — also traveled to neighbor islands in the last quarter, spending more than $4,300 on more than 20 plane tickets, mostly with Hawaiian Airlines.

Tulsi Gabbard

The Honolulu City Council member followed close behind Hannemann in the race to fill her campaign coffers. She took in $213,017 this quarter, according to her FEC report. Hawaii residents accounted for about 71 percent of her individual donors, the records show. She collected less PAC money than Hannemann, about $7,700 in the period ending March 31.

Gabbard has raised about $570,000 since the start of the campaign cycle, and spent about $100,000 leaving her with about $465,000 in the bank as the Aug. 11 primary draws closer.

Gabbard also has been spending money on consultants, including more than $6,500 to the Washington, D.C. firm, Crossroads Consulting. She paid HSC Inc. in Honolulu $4,000 for research.

Gabbard invested heavily in campaign materials this past quarter, paying a Rancho Dominguez, California, company more than $6,500 for sign-making materials and shipping costs. Another $18,500 went to a different California company for campaign banners.

She spent about $3,000 on Facebook ads and $759 for an ad in the Hawaii Tribune Herald.

Airfare cost her about $6,000.

The report reflects a salary of about $4,500 for campaign manager Max Glass, who lists a Virginia address. The report also shows a $1,200 expenditure for apartment rent for the campaign manager. Gabbard’s campaign didn’t return a call asking about that.

Bob Marx

A Big Island attorney, Marx has pretty much self-financed his congressional campaign. He’s also paying his law firm staff and others in his building to work on the campaign, the records reflect.

As or March 31, Marx has put more than $306,000 out of his own pocket into the campaign treasury. That’s out of $335,000 total raised since the beginning of the election cycle. He had $15,722 left in the bank, after spending significantly on TV spots, radio ads and print media.

Marx also has taken some of his money back, through reimbursing himself for some campaign expenditures. For instance, this quarter’s report includes four line items totalling $4,241 paid to Marx but as reimbursement for law firm staff who were on loan to his campaign. Another $5,000 went to consulting fees for Jose Casey who lists his address as the same as Marx’ law firm, on Kinoole Street in Hilo. Debra Mullen, who lists her office as a few doors down from Marx’ (room 108 instead of 105) was paid $3,785 for data entry and Linda Voong, also at the same address, was paid $435 for consulting.

Marx reimbursed himself more than $5,700 this quarter, mainly for Facebook ads, the report shows.

But his big cash outlay went for advertising. In addition to the Facebook ads, Marx spent nearly $100,000 on TV spots on local network and cable channels along with some radio and print ads.

Neither Hannemann nor Gabbard has spent significantly on TV ads, traditionally the main venue for getting campaign messages in front of the public. Both both have hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank to cover those costs, while Marx appears to have made his media buys earlier in the cycle.

Esther Kiaaina

Kiaaina is trailing the other candidates in terms of having significant sums to pump into her campaign effort. She raised $38,684 this quarter, bringing her overall campaign total to about $90,000. Of that, she’s already spent most of it — $82,000 — leaving her with about $18,000 in the bank as the primary draws closer.

Moreover, the report shows about $28,000 has come from contributions she’s made on her own behalf and another $10,000 is a loan from Kiaaina to her campaign.

Still, Kiaaina — or someone from her campaign — has been traveling around the state. She reports more than $2,000 in airfare to neighbor islands and another $1,332 for a United Airlines ticket.

Consutling and strategy also has been a major expense for her. More than $5,000 went to the Dewey Square Group in Washington, D.C, and another $7,500 was paid out to the Navigare Strategy Group, also in Washington, D.C.

JG Solutions in Ewa Beach was paid $9,000 for strategy and consulting. Bryan Jaco Gallarde, who lists the same address — an apartment — as JG Solutions, collected another $585 in reimbursements for things like food and fundraiser expenses.

Kiaaina also reimbursed herself more than $2,000 in out-of-pocket campaign expenses.

DISCUSSION: What do you think of how the candidates are spending their campaign cash?**

Follow the 2012 campaigns, candidates and issues with Civil Beat’s Hawaii Elections Guide 2012.

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