Washington • Readying for an intense race to keep his seat, Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams has amassed a large campaign account ahead of the 2020 elections, squirreling away more than $1 million so far, new documents show.
McAdams, who won his seat in 2018 by one of the smallest margins in the country, has raised more than $1.34 million since January and spent about $367,000, according to new filings with the Federal Election Commission.
That leaves him with just over $1 million in the bank more than a year before the election.
“Utahns contribute to the campaign because they appreciate Ben making good on his promise to work with Republicans and Democrats to solve problems in Congress,” said Andrew Roberts, McAdams' campaign manager. “The best thing he can do to get re-elected is to keep up that work.”
The campaign said donations came from all spectrums of the political rainbow.
McAdams, the former Salt Lake County mayor who bested Republican Mia Love by less than a percentage point in 2018, has hauled in more than $500,000 in both the last two quarters of fundraising.
State Senate Majority Whip Dan Hemmert, an Orem Republican, has the second biggest haul in the 4th District congressional race, with nearly $400,000 in the bank as of Oct. 1.
The asterisk on that total, though, is that Hemmert loaned his campaign $175,000 the day before the cutoff for the FEC deadline.
In all, Hemmert raised $231,900 from donors.
The state senator, who owns and is vice president of 23 Red Hanger Cleaners laundry and dry cleaners, did not respond to a request to comment Wednesday as the Legislature met in interim meetings.
While more than a year out from the election and some eight months until the primaries – McAdams doesn’t yet face a Democratic opponent – October’s donor report is a chance for candidates to show they’re making progress. For others, it’s just another deadline.
Kathleen Anderson, a GOP activist and wife of former Utah Republican Party Chairman Rob Anderson, has pulled in north of $172,000 so far in her bid to unseat McAdams and after spending $72,000 and has a campaign kitty of just over $100,000.
But the candidate says she's not worried about the money race.
“Our campaign is one focused on common-sense solutions and of taking Utah’s 4th District values back to Washington,” Anderson said in a statement. “Nothing will improve if we continue to recycle one politician for another. Washington, D.C., insider parlor games don’t interest me. I care more about what’s happening around kitchen tables and conference room tables across our district, and how I can best represent those interests while keeping the federal government off their backs and out of their wallets.”
State Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan, has the next highest sum in the race, reporting $89,200 in cash after spending some $21,600 of $111,000 she raised during the first few months of her campaign.
Coleman’s campaign noted her fundraising came all in seven weeks before the Oct. 1 FEC reporting cutoff compared to longer periods for other candidates.
“We are excited by the level of support we’ve received,” Coleman said earlier this month. “Every one of these dollars came by hard ‘pick and shovel’ work, and the amazing number of smaller contributions we’ve received from inside the district is a reflection of the grassroots support we’ve been assembling.”
Jay McFarland, a former KSL radio host seeking the Republican nomination, reported raising a total of about $53,000, spending nearly $25,000 and holding on to $28,000.
The 4th Congressional District, straddling the Salt Lake and Utah county lines and taking in part of Juab and Sanpete counties has been the state’s only competitive congressional race since the last redistricting in 2011. It has been represented by a Democrat for half the time and by a Republican for the other half.