The final numbers won’t be official until late Friday, but preliminary data provided to Civil Beat show U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono leading her top Democratic rivals in fundraising for the U.S. Senate race.
Hirono raised $281,000 in the quarter that ended June 30 — a healthy haul for a campaign that began only five weeks ago.
Former Congressman Ed Case, who declared his Senate intentions April 10, raised about $240,000.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who says she will decide next month whether she’s running for the Senate, raised $228,000.
Hirono’s campaign provided a summary to Civil Beat of her filing with the Federal Election Commission.
For the period April 1 to June 30, individual donations to Hirono totaled about $182,000, while political action committees gave $99,000.
The summary did not state whether the PAC money came from EMILY’s List, which took the unusual step last month of endorsing Hirono very early in the Senate contest.
Hirono also reports having $545,000 in cash on hand.
In a statement, Hirono said, “I am so proud and humbled by this strong outpouring of grassroots support. Close to 200 new donors have joined our campaign within the last few weeks because they want a U.S. Senator who’s going to continue the fight to improve our schools, for energy independence, and to get our economy back on track. We know this campaign won’t be easy, so we’re going to keep building a strong grassroots organization throughout Hawaii.”
‘Long Way Still to Go’
Case told Civil Beat late Thursday that he wasn’t “pau” with his campaign contribution report, but said, “We’ve raised about $240,000.”
In a June 12 email to supporters, Case said, “We just finished our first fundraising quarter since I announced, and thanks to so many of you we exceeded our goals for both contributors and contributions. Mahalo for supporting us with your hard-earned resources; you’ve given us the solid footing we needed to go forward.”
Case continued: “But meeting our goals in the first quarter of a Senate campaign is a little like setting some money aside for retirement when you’re 25. You’re glad you did it, but it’s nowhere near enough, there’s a long way still to go, and you’ve got to stay at it the whole way.”
Of the $228,700 raised by Hanabusa, $169,000 came from individual donations and $59,000 from PACs. A source close to the campaign cautioned that the figure for individual donations was not a final total, but also said that none of the money raised by the campaign came from the candidate.
What It Means
While they are early numbers, the fundraising reports are good news for Hirono, encouraging news for Hanabusa and a cautionary note for Case.
Money attracts money, after all. The 2012 Democratic primary is just a year from this August, having been moved up from September to comply with federal law on absentee voting.
While Hawaii has not seen a competitive race for the Senate in a generation, 2012 candidates will likely need to raise at least several million dollars to compete in the Democratic primary and against a Republican rival like Linda Lingle in the general.
The new figures could also help determine whether Hanabusa or other prominent Democrats enter the race. If Hanabusa throws her hat in, that opens up a House seat for folks like Djou or Mufi Hannemann.
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