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Paul Fraughton | Salt Lake Tribune Representative Rob Bishop talks with his challenger for the 1st District Congressional Seat, Donna McAleer , before the start of their debate at the Pleasant Valley Library in Ogden. Monday, October 15, 2012
Newcomer outraises veteran Utah congressman in 1st District

Democrat Donna McAleer reported an impressive three-month fundraising total.

First Published Oct 16 2012 03:31 pm • Last Updated Feb 07 2013 11:31 pm

Washington » Democrat Donna McAleer raised almost twice as much money as Rep. Rob Bishop in the past three months, continuing her aggressive long shot campaign to win in Utah’s conservative 1st Congressional District.

McAleer, a former Army officer and first-time candidate from Park City, raised $121,000 and has $78,000 left to spend. Bishop, a Brigham City native who has historically raised little money during his five terms in the U.S. House, brought in about $66,000 since the start of July and gave $58,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee. The NRCC helps House Republican candidates. Bishop spent only $25,600 on his own campaign and has a little less than $60,000 in available funds.

At a glance

4th Congressional District

As previously reported, Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love raised $1 million this period in her bid to unseat Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah. Matheson raised $470,000, his best fundraising period of his six-term career. The race is considered a toss-up by the Cook Political Report, which handicaps competitive congressional races.

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"The fact that we are outraising a 10-year incumbent shows that we have strong and growing support," said McAleer, who also criticized Bishop for giving so much to support Republicans in other races. "It shows he’s more interested in sending his friends to D.C. than he is in communicating with the voters of the 1st District."

Bishop’s campaign manager, Katherine Lowe, downplayed the money chase.

"He’s never had much money and he doesn’t spend a lot of time raising it, but he stays connected to his district in a lot more important ways," she said Tuesday. "Utahns know he’s a conservative and a workhorse and no amount of money or Democratic rhetoric can change those facts."

Bishop’s contributors largely came from the political action committees of energy companies. He is a prominent member of the House Natural Resources Committee. While McAleer raised money primarily from individuals, a number of them hailing from Park City.

A report stated Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, had raised $219,000 in the past two years, which neglected to include his most recent report. He has actually raised $286,000, significantly more than the $192,000 his opponent, Donna McAleer, has raised.

Senate » In Utah’s U.S. Senate contest, six-term Sen. Orrin Hatch did little to slow his spending after claiming his party’s nomination on June 26 and, with it, a commanding lead in the Senate race. He brought in another $607,000 since the start of July, but spent more than $1.58 million, which included paying off some debt he accrued during the primary election. His overall campaign spending has now hit $11.7 million, a Utah record. Hatch continued to collect contributions largely from business executives and PACs, who are likely attracted to his standing as the top Republican on the Finance Committee.

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Hatch’s Democratic opponent, Scott Howell, raised $121,000 since July, including $15,000 from unions. He had $91,000 left as of Oct. 1, the reporting deadline. Most of his money is going to his staff, with Facebook ads being the only advertising listed.

2nd Congressional District » Republican Chris Stewart continues to stockpile cash. He brought in $143,000 this period in his so-far sleepy contest against Democrat Jay Seegmiller, who raised $39,000.

Stewart, a businessman and author from Farmington, has about $170,000 in available funds. His donors include former Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, and a cadre of federal lobbyists who work with Utah clients. He also started receiving contributions from PACs, totaling $116,000, a sign that he is seen as the clear favorite in this race.

Seegmiller, a railroad conductor and former state lawmaker from Sandy, has just $24,500 to spend. He received a contribution from the PACs of Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, and the National Education Association.

3rd Congressional District » Rep. Jason Chaffetz seemingly has spent far more time campaigning for Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney than for a third term in the House, though he was able to raise $107,000 since July and has $145,000 in available funds. He gave $35,000 to the NRCC.

The contest between Chaffetz, from Alpine, and Soren Simonsen, from Salt Lake City, has seen the least action. The candidates have no planned debates and have spent almost nothing on advertising.

Simonsen, chairman of the Salt Lake City Council and an architect, entered the race late and this was his first disclosure. He raised $20,000, with $10,000 coming from The American Institute of Architecture PAC. He has $5,900 left in the bank.


Twitter: @mattcanham

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