Senate Candidates Set Fund-Raising Record
By Ruth Marcus
The money keeps rolling in.
An analysis by the Federal Election Commission shows that candidates vying for Senate seats next year have already raised $42.6 million during the first six months of 1997, another record amount.
The FEC studied reports filed by 58 candidates for the 34 Senate seats up next year. The total brought in by the incumbents and challengers during the first six months of 1997 outpaced the $24 million raised by candidates for Senate seats in 1995, the $25 million raised in 1993 and the $33.3 million raised in 1991, the last election cycle for the group now up for reelection.
Of the $42.6 million raised, contributions from individuals accounted for $24 million, 56 percent of the total. Contributions from political action committees totaled $8 million, 19 percent of receipts.
The candidates reported spending $10.8 million during the period.
The FEC analysis showed that 18 candidates all but five of whom are incumbent senators already had more than $1 million in cash on hand. Leading the pack is New York Republican Sen. Alfonse M. D'Amato, with $8.6 million, followed closely by his Democratic rival, Rep. Charles E. Schumer, with $6.5 million. Alabama Republican Sen. Richard C. Shelby, with no announced opponent, has $4.3 million in the bank, and Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Arlen Specter, in a similarly enviable position, has $2.4 million.
Once again, wealthy candidates are plunking down sizable sums on their own races. California businessman Darrell Issa, a Republican who is seeking to oust Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, has put $2 million of his own money into the campaign (and raised only $15,000 from outside sources), while Nevada Republican businessman Bruce James, trying to unseat Democratic Sen. Harry M. Reid, has contributed $1.1 million to his race.
© Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company