The most recent campaign finance reports from the Federal Election Commission shows 3rd District Democrat Andy Kim is more than holding his own in the fundraising race, as he managed to outraise the Republican incumbent during the first quarter of 2018.
The expected 3rd Congressional District campaign match up between Republican incumbent Tom MacArthur and Democrat Andy Kim is expected to among the most competitive in New Jersey this year.
It’s already shaping up to be among the most expensive, as both campaigns continue to rake in money for what’s sure to be a pricey battle in one of the most expensive media markets in the nation.
The most recent campaign finance reports from the Federal Election Commission shows Kim is more than holding his own in the fundraising race, as he managed to outraise the incumbent during the first quarter of 2018.
Kim, who recently moved from Evesham to Bordentown Township, raised just over $520,000 during the first three months of the year, bringing his fundraising total above seven-figures to $1.1 million. He ended March with $814,854 in available cash on hand, according to the FEC.
MacArthur raised a total of $211,326 in his regular re-election account, and another $122,528 in a separate MacArthur Victory fund, giving him a combined $333,854 raise this quarter and $1.45 million so far this election cycle. His campaign reported having about $1.1 million in available cash at the quarter’s end.
Kim’s first quarter haul was the largest of his campaign so far and marked the second consecutive quarter he has managed to outraise MacArthur. During the last quarter of 2017, his campaign raised $344,500, compared to MacArthur’s $268,935 haul.
A total of $448,390 of Kim’s contributions during the last quarter came from individual donors, and $72,700 came from other Democratic candidate funds or political action committees.
Among the individuals who contributed to his campaign were Chesterfield Mayor Rita Romeu, Delanco Committeeman Michael Templeton and Suzyn Waldman, a radio broadcaster with WFAN radio who covers the Yankees baseball games.
Kim’s other contributors included the American Association for Justice PAC, which raises money from attorneys, as well as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s campaign fund, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Steny Hoyer’s campaign, and the campaign funds of New York Democrat Grace Meng, Illinois Democrat Bill Foster and Californian Zoe Lofgren.
Kim, who served as a national security advisor for Barack Obama’s administration, has made his refusal to accept contributions from corporate-controlled PACs a central part of his campaign and he continued to highlight his pledge Monday.
“Throughout my career serving in war zones and the Situation Room, I served under both Republicans and Democrats focused on finding solutions to the problems facing our nation,” Kim said. “This grassroots campaign is powered by thousands of supporters who agree that we deserve a representative who will stand up to Washington dysfunction and vote in the interest of his constituents, not corporate PAC donors.”
Kim’s campaign manager, Zack Carroll, also attacked MacArthur on Monday, accusing him of accepting contributions from drug companies, and also purchasing pharmaceutical stocks, before helping to craft the Republican’s controversial health care reform bill.
“After getting nearly $100,000 from drug companies and purchasing hundreds of thousands of dollars in pharmaceutical stocks, Tom MacArthur crafted the Republican repeal bill that would have gutted protections for pre-existing conditions and raised our premiums,” Carroll said. “It’s no surprise to see thousands of supporters walk away from MacArthur and step up to send Andy Kim, who served our country with integrity and has a record of working with both parties, to Congress in November.”
MacArthur campaign consultant and spokesman Chris Russell fired back that Kim continues to accept money from Democratic campaigns and PACs that receive corporate PAC money, arguing that doing so is hypocritical and dishonest. During the last quarter, Kim accepted at least $33,000 from 13 Democratic candidate campaign funds and PACs that accepted corporate PAC money, including Pelosi’s and Hoyer’s and the so-called BRIDGE PAC and AMERIPAC.
Russell also reiterated an attack first launched by MacArthur’s campaign earlier this month highlighting that Kim received a property tax break on a condo he owns in Washington D.C. that was reserved for those who declare the district to be their primary residence. Kim received the tax break when he paid his bill in September 2017, even after he announced he was running for the 3rd District seat in Congress and was registered to vote as a New Jersey resident, where he was renting.
Kim’s campaign has said the tax break was automatically renewed and that Kim canceled it and refunded the $687 in benefits he received before MacArthur’s campaign highlighted the oversight.
“Despite his bogus claims that he won’t accept corporate PAC money, Andy Kim’s fundraising is becoming more and more reliant on it. He continues to break his own pledge and be incredibly dishonest with the public,” Russell said. “That Andy Kim has been exposed as a fraud on fundraising is no surprise considering he was also recently outed as (improperly receiving a tax break). Despite living, voting and running for Congress in New Jersey, Andy Kim pocketed a substantial property tax break by falsely claiming he lived in Washington, D.C. Burlington County voters aren’t going to take kindly to someone who doesn’t pay property taxes here, while improperly collecting a property tax break on his nearly $1 million condo in Washington.”
MacArthur, who is seeking his third term representing the 3rd District, raised $125,900 from PACs and other political funds during the last quarter, and $92,003 from individuals, according to the FEC.
Among the individuals who donated to his re-election were former state Sen. Diane Allen; Joe Olivio, the head of the Moorestown-based printing company Perfect Communications; renown Burlington County farmer Stephen Lee III and Michael Warner, former commander of Fort Dix who now runs a consulting firm.
Among the PACs he received money from were the Republican Main Street Partnership PAC; the Prosperity Action Inc. PAC, which is affiliated with retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan; the Bass River-based Recreational Fishing Alliance PAC, the Koch Industries PAC and the Celegene Corp. PAC, which is controlled by the New Jersey pharmaceutical company formerly led by Bob Hugin, who is running as a Republican for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Bob Menendez.
The race between MacArthur and Kim has already garnered national attention and, while the district has nearly always elected Republicans to the House seat (the one exception was in 2008), national experts have acknowledged it is becoming an increasingly competitive race.
Kim’s fundraising through the first quarter is already substantially better than the $403,411 raised and $325,000 in cash reported by Democrat Aimee Belgard at the same point in April 2014, when she lost to MacArthur, and was comparable to the $981,226 raised and $1 million in cash on hand reported by Democrat John Adler in April 2008 during his successful campaign for the seat.
Campaign finance is likely to play an important role in the contest as the district is split between the New York and Philadelphia media markets. Both are among the most expensive to purchase commercial airtime in the nation.
The other House races impacting Burlington County are not drawing nearly as much fundraising and spending, so far.
In the 1st District, Democratic incumbent Donald Norcross is heavily favored to win re-election to his seat and has raised over $1.3 million as of March 31. His campaign also reported $830,284 in available cash.
Norcross’ Democratic primary opponents, Robert Lee Carlson and Scot Tomaszewski filed no quarterly report with the FEC, nor did the sole Republican candidate Paul Dilks.
In the 2nd District, Democrat Jeff Van Drew reported raising $408,454 during the quarter and having $456,028 in available cash. Among his Democratic primary competitors, Tanzie Youngbook reported raising $34,478 and having $14,102 in available cash, and William Cunningham reported raising $51,951 and having $45,986 in cash. The other Democratic candidate, Nate Kleinman, did not submit a quarterly report.
Among the Republican candidates in the district, Hirsh Singh reported raising $56,247 during the quarter and having $82,554 in available cash, and Brian Fitzherbert reported raising $5,375 and having $4,322 in available cash. The other Republicans who filed to run in the primary —Robert Turkavage, Sam Fiocchi and Seth Grossman — did not file quarterly reports.