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Politics & Government

Doyle holds onto campaign cash advantage, but numbers are modest

dickinson_doyle.jpg
Dickinson campaign/AP
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Jerry Dickinson (left) and Mike Doyle (right) are raising cash for a potential rematch in next year's Democratic primary.

Incumbent Congressman Mike Doyle maintains a campaign cash advantage over his 18th District Democratic rival Jerry Dickinson. But Dickinson outraised Doyle for the second quarter running, and in any case, Doyle’s totals remain modest ahead of a year in which he may have to undergo the toughest test of his career — assuming he decides to run for re-election at all.

In third-quarter reports released today by the Federal Elections Commission, Doyle reported raising $85,030 from contributors. That more than doubles his fundraising for the year, though it is less than overwhelming for a 14-term incumbent. (In a Congressional district next door, for example, Republican incumbent Mike Kelly reported bringing in more than $106,000 during that time.)

The vast majority of Doyle’s support — $78,500 — came from political committees, notably from the telecom sector. Doyle serves on a communications and technology subcommittee, and some of his largest donors include Comcast, AT&T, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and America’s Communications Association, a Pittsburgh-based trade group that includes cable phone and fiber operators.

Doyle finishes the quarter with $300,291.18 on hand, after spending slightly more than $40,000 on expenses during the past three months.

University of Pittsburgh law professor Dickenson, meanwhile, reports raising $121,383.68 in the same period of July to September. That’s nearly a third more than Doyle raised during that time.

But Doyle began the year with a sizable cash advantage, and with expenditures of $66,464.24 listed in his most recent report, Dickinson outspent Doyle in the latter part of summer as well.

Dickenson’s campaign finished out last month with $158,008.21 on hand — just over half of Doyle’s total. He drew support from individuals all across the country, much of which came through ActBlue, a Democratic-aligned online fundraising tool.

Doyle has never been a prolific fundraiser, and arguably he has never had to be: He beat Dickinson in the 2020 primary by a two-to-one margin. But his low activity earlier this year already has raised speculation about how much enthusiasm he has for a fight in a district that is becoming increasingly progressive.

Doyle has not formally announced a re-election bid. Political insiders expect him to make an announcement about his political future on Monday.

*This story was updated at 5:42 p.m. on Friday, October 15, 2021 to include information about Doyle's political intentions.