Democratic congressional candidates Jess King and Christina Hartman each raised more money in the final months of 2017 than incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker, whom they are hoping to challenge in this year’s election.
King, a political newcomer, raised $195,480 from donors between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 — more than any other 16th Congressional District candidate in that period, according to campaign finance documents published Thursday.
And Hartman, in her second bid for the Lancaster-based seat in Congress, raised $175,377 in those months. She also finished with more cash-on-hand — $219,110 — than anyone else.
Smucker had about $200,000 left in his campaign account after raising $714,527 in all of 2017, including $114,260 in its final months. His smaller amount of cash-on-hand was largely due to the continuing pay-back for hundreds of thousands of dollars that Smucker personally loaned his winning campaign in 2016.
The updated figures reveal three similarly well-financed campaigns in the 16th Congressional District heading into the start of election season.
Smucker, a West Lampeter Republican, is facing his first re-election campaign in a year when political analysts widely expect a strong showing from Democrats.
Hartman and King, both Lancaster city residents, launched their campaigns last summer and after a few months had already raised more money than most 16th District Democrats have historically raised in their entire one- or two-year campaigns.
In their latest filings, King reported that nearly all of her money raised came from individuals rather than political organizations. The only exception was $500 from Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s campaign. King raised about $300,000 since her campaign launched in June and had $145,870 left on-hand at the end of December.
Hartman raised $380,000 since re-launching her campaign in July. Her October-to-December fundraising represented $139,149 from individuals and $36,149 from political organizations.
Smucker netted $55,510 from individuals and $58,750 from political organizations in that time period. He also transferred $19,000 from another one of his campaign groups and paid himself back for $80,000 worth of loans. His campaign remains $98,000 in-debt to himself.
Gary Wegman, a dentist from Reading, is also seeking the Democratic nomination. He raised about $3,000 from donors while loaning $20,000 of his own money late last year.