Campaign Filings Show Congressional Incumbents Outraised Opponents In Third Quarter

Oct 16, 2019

Western Pennsylvania Congressional incumbents have outraised their opponents in the most recent fundraising period, according to campaign filings released by the Federal Election Commission this week.

In Pittsburgh, Democrat Mike Doyle is being challenged from the left by University of Pittsburgh law professor Jerry Dickinson. Campaign filings show Doyle's committee raised $207,272 from July 1 through September 30. Dickinson's brought in $22,368.81 during the same period.

Such disparities between incumbents and challengers are not unusual, although Dickinson had previously raised eyebrows early in his campaign by raising more than $100,000 in the previous quarter. The decline in fundraising didn't prevent his campaign from announcing its first TV ad, an introductory spot which a spokesman said aired during the Democratic presidential debate.

The totals were even more skewed in the 17th Congressional district, which includes Allegheny County suburbs and Beaver County. Incumbent Democrat Conor Lamb raised $259,443.28, while Republican challenger Scott Timko raised just under $8,920.

Republican incumbents also had strong numbers. Guy Reschenthaler, who represents Washington, Fayette, Greene and Westmoreland counties, brought in $150,195.10. Northwestern Pennsylvania’s Mike Kelly raised more than anyone else – $334,183.63.

Kelly won his re-election in 2018 over Ron DiNicola by about 11,000 votes, or about 4 percentage points. While no Democratic challenger has filed fundraising paperwork yet, Kelly's seat is one of three in Pennsylvania that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee plans to target in 2020. Other Republicans on the DCCC’s list are U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-01) and U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (R-10).

In terms of cash that candidates had on hand, Doyle ended September with $479,068.11, thanks to a war chest from previous periods that incumbents typically enjoy; Dickinson had $92,180.02. Lamb ended with $563,345.65 while Timko had less than 1 percent of Lamb’s total, some $5,059.69. Reschenthaler ended with $121,498.65, and Mike Kelly had $794,683.23 in the bank.