- File photos
- From left: Becca Ballint, Sianay Chase Clifford, Molly Gray and Louis Meyers
In the final quarter of fundraising ahead of the August 9 primary, Democratic U.S. House candidate Becca Balint outpaced her chief rival, Molly Gray, by about $40,000.
Both campaigns touted the second quarter, which ran from April 1 through the end of June, as their best showing since the candidates entered the race in December. The filings released on Friday show that Gray, Vermont's lieutenant governor, hauled in about $364,000, compared to about $404,700 for Balint, the president of the Vermont Senate.
But Gray boasted more cash on hand — about $500,000 — compared to Balint, who had about $362,000 in the bank. That could be crucial as the candidates hit the final few weeks of campaigning, which usually include large get-out-the-vote efforts and TV advertisements.
The filings show Balint spent more than $230,000 on TV ads in about a five-week period from late May through June; Gray spent about $48,500 on broadcast TV ads during the quarter, according to her campaign.
The Gray campaign has spent the last several weeks focusing on outside spending — even before any money was spent. At a debate in June, Gray asked Balint if she'd denounce such spending and then hold a press conference to urge the groups to pull the ads. Balint answered yes.
In a statement Friday, Balint denounced the spending and said she "did not invite this.
"Becca is spending time talking with Vermonters, not engaging in political stunts," Silver wrote. "Becca has vehemently denounced the spending over and over; as she did again today."
Further, Silver said she had "serious concerns that a press conference which is meant to message to outside groups could be seen as illegal coordination.
"Our campaign will not do anything that could be seen as illegal coordination," she wrote. "Period."
Sianay Chase Clifford, another candidate in the primary, raised about $12,500 during the quarter and spent $18,100, leaving her with about $430 cash on hand, the filings show.
State Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale (D-Chittenden), who dropped out of the U.S. House race in late May and endorsed Balint, raised about $70,000 for the quarter. Ram Hinsdale had raised about $38,700 before she announced she was dropping out on May 27. Campaign finance rules allowed her to continue fundraising to pay off any debts.
In the Republican primary for the House, independent Liam Madden reported the most donations: $36,296, according to his filing. More than $25,000 was from people named Madden, including the candidate himself, who contributed $5,800. After expenses, Madden's campaign had $19,736 on hand, his report showed.
Republican Ericka Redic raised about $5,000, while a third candidate in the GOP primary, Anya Tynio, reported receiving no contributions.
U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), who is running for the U.S. Senate seat held by the retiring Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), announced that he'd raised about $971,000 in the second quarter and boasted $2.75 million cash on hand.
On the Republican side, former U.S. attorney Christina Nolan pulled in about $180,000 in the second quarter, according to her filing. A rival GOP candidate, Gerald Malloy, listed nearly $100,000 in contributions, but he loaned himself at least $50,000, the filings show.