WASHINGTON — Presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard had just over $2 million in her campaign bank account at the end of 2018, according to her latest filings with the Federal Election Commission.
The Hawaii congresswoman’s campaign posted her year-end fundraising report late Thursday, showing that from Nov. 27 to Dec. 31, she raised about $15,000 while spending more than $51,000.
That’s a slight total in donations, especially for someone who has been projecting a presidential run for several months now.
Over the final quarter of 2018, which runs from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, FEC records show Gabbard raised around $116,000. The same records show she spent nearly $172,000.
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, who announced his presidential candidacy Friday, raised about $394,000 during the same time, and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, who’s also seeking a seat in the oval office, raised more than $1.2 million.
President Donald Trump, meanwhile, reported his campaign had more than $19.2 million in its coffers at the end of the year.
Another top contender to take on Trump in 2020, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, reported having $11 million in her campaign war chest.
Expense reports for Gabbard show that her campaign paid for travel expenses across the country, from rental cars in Iowa, Vermont and California to hotels in Boston, Las Vegas, and New Hampshire.
The records also show thousands of dollars in payments to Batrice & Associates, which is the company owned by her outgoing campaign manager, Rania Batrice.
Gabbard’s presidential campaign officially launches in Hawaii on Saturday, and the public will get a much clearer view of her fundraising prowess once her next FEC filings become available in the next few months.
The next quarterly filing deadline for presidential candidates is April 15, and will cover Jan. 1 to March 31.
As for Gabbard’s colleague in the House, U.S. Rep. Ed Case, the final quarter of 2018 brought an additional $112,000 in donations.
During that time he spent nearly as much, but still reported having $81,000 in cash on hand.
Case – who loaned his campaign more than $150,000 of his own money — reported thousands of dollars in donations for a number of political action committees, including those representing Hawaii’s banking industry, the travel and hotel industry and Lockheed Martin.
Other PACs donating to Case’s campaign include those representing the Sierra Club, the National Automobile Dealers Assocation and Giffords PAC, which backs candidates who support gun control.
Gabbard, on the other hand, swore off PAC money in 2017. Prior to that, however, she took in more than $1.3 million in special interest money, including from a number of labor unions and defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems.
The congresswoman’s earlier donations from defense contractors recently came under scrutiny in light of her vocal opposition to interventionist wars and the proliferation of the military industrial complex.
In the U.S. Senate, Mazie Hirono was up for re-election last year, although she didn’t face a serious challenger. Year-end FEC records show Hirono raised nearly $350,000 in the final quarter of the year and spent almost $1.4 million.
The Hawaii senator became somewhat of a political celebrity in 2018, especially during the bitter confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Hirono spent much of her money in the last quarter — more than $860,000 — with Screen Strategies Media, a consulting and ad-buying firm.
Hirono’s campaign reported having just under $1 million in cash on hand at the end of the year.
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, meanwhile, reported that his campaign raised $84,000 during the final quarter of 2018 and spent just over $66,000. Schatz, who isn’t up for election again until 2022, reported $2.6 million in cash on hand.
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