Republican Chris Vance is starting his campaign against Democratic U.S. Sen. Patty Murray at a steep fundraising disadvantage.
Vance raised less than $18,000 during the first 22 days of his campaign, according to a filing this week with the Federal Election Commission.
Murray, meanwhile, raised $1.2 million during the third quarter of year, and had $4.7 million cash on hand for her re-election effort, according to her FEC filing.
And that amount doesn’t include proceeds from her big fundraiser last week with President Obama.
In an email, Vance notes he was starting “from scratch.” He only announced his campaign on Sept. 8 and started making calls to donors a week later. The third-quarter FEC filing reflects donations through Sept. 30.
“Our plan calls for our fundraising to build up gradually,” he wrote, saying his efforts are now ramping up. “I am very encouraged by the response I am getting. Donors are saying yes, and people are agreeing to host events. So far, so good.”
It’s no surprise that Murray — a four-term incumbent who has twice led the Senate Democrats’ national fundraising committee — would outraise Vance, the former state GOP chairman.
Still, Murray aides were quick to boast of her comparatively strong quarter.
They noted Murray raised $18,000 from email donors alone in the four days after she contacted supporters to alert them of Vance’s candidacy. Another round of emails a week later raised $69,000.
Overall, for the third quarter, Murray pulled in about $875,000 from individual donors and $367,000 from political-action committees.
She raised $165,000 in online donations alone over the third quarter, with about 5,000 donors giving an average of less than $25, aides said.