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(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) Utah congressional candidate Mia Love has quickly closed the fundraising gap with incumbent Rep. Jim Matheson in recent weeks. The two campaigns, combined with outside interest groups, have topped the $10 million mark in spending — a first for a U.S. House race in Utah.
Love’s hot hand burning Matheson in fundraising

First Published Oct 25 2012 07:45 pm • Last Updated Oct 26 2012 12:32 am

Mia Love maintained a torrid fundraising pace in her bid to unseat Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, in what is the state’s most-watched election contest.

From Oct. 1 to Oct. 17, Love, the Republican mayor of Saratoga Springs, amassed $464,000 in contributions, while Matheson, a six-term House Democratic incumbent, collected $139,000, according to federal reports released late Thursday.

At a glance

The big money

The latest campaign reports, covering Oct. 1 to Oct. 17, show Republican Mia Love continuing to attract far more contributions than Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson in the 4th District race. But outside spending is where the real cash is.

Rep. Jim Matheson, D

Raised » $139,000

Spent » $239,000

Available cash » $207,000

Mia Love, R

Raised » $464,000

Spent » $555,000

Available cash » $364,000

Total outside spending » $5.38 million

Pro-Matheson » $2.71 million

Pro-Love » $2.67 million

Source: Federal Election Commission reports

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This is the last reporting deadline before the Nov. 6 election, and, according to recent polling, this 4th District race is a nail-biter.

Love, who would be the first black GOP woman in Congress, has made up considerable financial ground on Matheson in the past few months and has now raised a total of $1.85 million.

She has spent more than $555,000 this month, mostly on advertising. She had $364,000 in available funds as of Oct. 17. Love received some fundraising help from the Club for Growth, a tea party-affiliated group, and she continued to raise heavily from conservative political action committees.

Matheson, has gathered more than $2.2 million overall for his race, but hasn’t matched Love’s recent totals. He spent an additional $200,000 on ads this month and had $207,000 left. He received contributions from his mother, Norma Matheson, Utah’s former first lady, and from billionaire industrialist Jon Huntsman Sr. and his wife, Karen. The Huntsmans are Republicans who are siding with the moderate Democrat in this race.

Spending by outside interest groups and political parties has dwarfed the money available directly to Matheson and Love.

As of Thursday evening, outside spending has reached nearly $5.4 million and it been split relatively evenly in favor of each candidate.

Groups such as the National Republican Congressional Committee have spent $2.67 million supporting Love’s challenge, while pro-Matheson outfits, like Center Forward, have spent $2.71 million for his re-election effort.

mcanham@sltrib.com


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