Sen. Brian Schatz’s campaign this morning announced another strong period of fundraising, saying it had raised about $911,000 over the last three months. That brings to about $2 million the total Schatz has raised for next year’s Senate election against challenger, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.
It’s unclear to what extent Schatz is maintaining his sizable fundraising advantage over Hanabusa. Campaign reports aren’t due until July 15, and Hanabusa’s fundraising totals were not immediately available.
Schatz had reported in April that he’d raised $1.1 million. Hanabusa, who did not declare her candidacy or begin fundraising in earnest until April, had reported raising $230,000.
Details of Schatz’ fundraising, including a full list of his contributors, were not immediately released. It was also unclear how much of the money is designated for the primary election against Hanabusa. While the $1.1 million figure has been touted, Civil Beat reported that because of federal contribution limits for the primary election, only about $800,000 could be used in the race against Hanabusa.
As Civil Beat also reported, Schatz benefits from a culture in the Senate, in which senators take care of their own.
In the release, Schatz said he’d received money last quarter from the leadership PACs of several top Democratic senators: Barbara Boxer, Maria Cantwell, Bob Casey, Joe Donnelly, Martin Heinrich, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Manchin, Bob Menendez, Jeff Merkley, Chris Murphy, Chuck Schumer, Jeanne Shaheen, Debbie Stabenow, and Sheldon Whitehouse. He’d previously received money from several others including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
While the election is still a year away, the fundraising is significant for Schatz. A recent internal campaign poll showed him in a neck-and-neck race with Hanabusa, despite having less name recognition. The money helps him run ads to raise his profile among voters.
“I’m humbled by the strong support that our campaign has received in the last six months,” Schatz said in a release. “Together we can create new jobs, grow our clean energy economy, and build a brighter future for the families of Hawaii. I will keep working every day in the Senate to accomplish these goals and represent our Hawaii values.”
— Kery Murakami