First District DFL Rep. Tim Walz enjoys a massive cash advantage over his Republican rival, according to recent campaign finance reports.
Walz raised more than $848,000 between Jan. 1, 2013 and March 31 towards his re-election bid, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. He has more than $411,000 in the bank — nearly ten times the amount of his GOP challenger Aaron Miller of Byron. Earlier this month, Miller beat out state Rochester Rep. Mike Benson and Blue Earth businessman Jim Hagedorn to win the party's endorsement.
Reports show Miller has more than $43,000 in cash-on-hand. He raised a total of more than $152,000 between July 1, 2014 and March 31. But the bulk of that money — $120,000 — came from loans he made to the campaign.
Among the Republican challengers, Benson raised nearly $78,000 for his campaign with the vast majority of that money coming from individual donors. Hagedorn brought in nearly $50,000, which included a $5,000 loan to his campaign.
It's interesting to note that Miller spent the least on campaign expenditures of any of his GOP rivals. He spent nearly $29,000 on campaign operating expenditures. Benson spent the most money with more than $71,000 and Hagedorn spent more than $45,000. Miller has repaid $80,000 of his loans.
Lagging fundraising efforts by 2nd District Republican Rep. John Kline's likely Democratic rival have prompted The Rothberg Political Report to move his race from Republican Favored to Safe Republican. Kline has raised more than $1.8 million toward his re-election bid and has nearly $1.7 million in the bank. His likely DFL rival, former state Rep. Michael Obermueller, has raised more than $418,000 and has nearly $239,000 in cash-on-hand.