New Reports Show Tight Money Race In Closely Watched Lamb/Rothfus Match-Up

Jul 16, 2018

In one of the country's most closely-watched House Races, western Pennsylvania incumbents Keith Rothfus and Conor Lamb appear to be on even ground financially. 

According to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission over the weekend, both men began the latter part of the year with roughly $2.1 million. 

Lamb, who won a special election in the 18th Congressional District this past March, outraised Rothfus between late April and the end of June. He raised $659,295.65 during that period, to Rothfus' $535,902.34. Lamb started the period with a roughly $200,000 cash edge as well, but outspent Rothfus a nearly three-to-one margin which offset that advantage. 

Lamb ended the period with $2,096,651. That's only slighly more than the $2,067,633 raised by Rothfus, who represents the currenct 12th District. 

Rothfus' totals were swelled by contributions from a number of political-action committees, including several from financial-sector interests like Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Mr. Rothfus has pushed to ease some banking regulations. Lamb has eschewed corporate PAC money, and continues to draw backing from End Citizens United, an early supporter of his special-election campaign that opposes corporate funding. He also drew backing from local Democrats including former Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy.

The two incumbents are squaring off in Pennslyvania's newly-drawn 17th District, which encompasses suburban areas of Allegheny County and all of Beaver County. Thanks to a district map drawn earlier this year at the behest of the state Supreme Court, the new 17th district pits the two incumbents against each other -- the only race in the nation to have such a match-up this November.  

Of course, the money candidates raise themselves is only part of the picture. Lamb's special-election fight against Republican nominee Rick Saccone was soaked with money from outside groups, mostly weighing in on the conservative side. 

Dollar totals are smaller in the new 14th District, which consists of largely rural counties outside of Allegheny -- including much of the territory Lamb held under the old map. 

Democrat Bibiana Boerio brought in $108,051.84 between late April and the end of June, and spent almost $104,500 of it. Combined with money she already had on hand, she starts the latter half of 2018 with $83,870.22. 

Her Republican rival, Guy Reschenthaler, outraised her by more than two-to-one, picking up $252,544.73 by the end of June.  He also outspent her, however, spending just under $260,000. Factoring in the money he had on hand in April, he begins July with $56,578.25 on hand.