A first look at fundraising reports for Oz, Fetterman, House races
Republican Mehmet Oz is considerably trailing Democratic opponent John Fetterman in fund-raising, according to the first reports released since the two became their parties’ Senate nominees.
Fetterman raised $11 million in the last three months, while Oz brought in $3.8 million, more than half of it money he loaned his campaign. The race is just a third of the way through, and super PAC and national party money is expected to pour in. But the reports reveal an early gulf between Fetterman and Oz and a glimpse into both campaigns’ fund-raising apparatuses.
The race to fill retiring Sen. Pat Toomey’s seat is poised to be one of the most expensive in the country as it could determine which party controls the chamber. But Pennsylvania also has at least five tight House races, which could shift the makeup of the state’s congressional delegation. We break down what the money looks like in those contests here, too.
Oz, who paid for nearly all of his primary campaign out of his own vast fortune, contributing $12 million, reported raising just $3.8 million in April, May, and June. That includes a $2.2 million loan he gave his campaign.
He ended the quarter with just $1.1 million in cash on hand.
Oz did have a bit of a delay in being able to fund-raise, given that the GOP primary was too close to call for two and a half weeks, and sparked a recount.
Still, the low haul offers some insight into why Oz hasn’t been on TV since winning the nomination, and it raises questions about his campaign’s ability to fund-raise, given how it relied largely on the candidate to fund the race until now.
“Just like in the primary, Dr. Oz’s campaign will have ample resources to get its message out,” campaign spokesperson Brittany Yanick said.
While Fetterman’s small-donation machine set records for Senate fund-raising in a quarter, both parties’ national arms and issue groups will likely fill the airwaves with ads on behalf of their chosen candidates. American Leadership Action, a super PAC backing Oz, reported raising and spending about $4.5 million this year, including a $1 million donation from former President Donald Trump’s Save America PAC. The group only had $300,000 on hand in its last filing, but because of how super PACs work, they can quickly raise huge amounts of money, sometimes from a handful of donors.
Some of the individuals who donated to Oz’s campaign directly include his former rival David McCormick; several members of the Haslam family, which owns the Cleveland Browns; Fox News contributor Liz Peek; and several members of Oz’s wife’s family, the Asplundhs. The family founded Asplundh Tree Expert Co., based in Willow Grove, one of the state’s largest private companies.
Despite spending the first two months of the general election off the campaign trail recovering from a stroke, the lieutenant governor raised $8.3 million for his U.S. Senate campaign between the primary and the end of June.
In all, Fetterman raised $11 million over April, May, and June, the most any U.S. Senate candidate in Pennsylvania history has pulled in during a three-month period, according to his campaign. That sum includes a little more than $10 million filed in Friday’s report and nearly $1 million filed in a pre-primary report in April.
The fund-raising quarter was Fetterman’s campaign best. He’s quickly burning through the cash though, spending most of the money raised and ending the quarter with $5.5 million cash on hand (an increase from the $1.3 million he had when April started).
The campaign has said that since Fetterman became the nominee, he’s received donations from more than 139,000 first-time donors, accounting for about two-thirds of his donors in the last quarter. His average donation was about $30, a sign of a continued grassroots donor machine.
Honor Pennsylvania, the super PAC backing McCormick’s unsuccessful bid for the GOP nomination, spent $21.2 million, according to its report. The receipts included donations from Rupert Murdoch and billionaire hedge fund manager Kenneth Griffin, who gave nearly $9 million to the PAC.
In a rematch, U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, a northeast Pennsylvania Democrat, faces Jim Bognet, the Republican he defeated by 4 percentage points in 2020.
Larry Sabato, a political prognosticator at the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, rates the district a “toss-up” in the fall. Cartwright represents a “crossover district,” winning it in 2016 and 2020 while its voters backed Trump.
Cartwright, first elected in 2012, raised $826,476 in the quarter and had $2,731,508 in the bank at the end of June.
Bognet, who served in Trump’s administration and won his endorsement before the primary election, raised $516,476 and had $580,352 in the bank. He loaned his campaign $10,500 in March.
In another rematch, U.S. Rep. Susan Wild is challenged by Lisa Scheller, the Republican she defeated in 2020 by 4 percentage points in the Lehigh Valley district.
Sabato also rates this district as a toss-up.
Wild, first elected in the 2018 midterms, raised $891,146 in the quarter and had $3,143,371 in the bank.
Scheller, the CEO of a company that manufactures pigments for paint, loaned her campaign $610,000 last year, after making similar loans to her 2020 campaign. She raised $414,704 in the quarter and had $1,190,663 in the bank.
In a third toss-up, Democrat Chris Deluzio and Republican Jeffrey Shaffer are vying for western Pennsylvania’s open 17th District seat, currently held by U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, whose term expires in December and who ran unsuccessfully for Senate.
Deluzio, an Iraq War veteran and lawyer, raised $420,040 and had $348,089 in the bank.
Shaffer, who founded a computer software company for the management of infrastructure, raised $700,840 and had $937,388 in the bank. He has loaned his campaign $1 million, including $500,000 at the end of June.
U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, the moderate Republican from Bucks County, who progressives have longed to oust, holds a significant financial advantage over his Democratic challenger, West Point graduate and former Army helicopter pilot Ashley Ehasz.
Fitzpatrick raised $406,561 in the quarter and had $1,028,407 in the bank at the end of June. Ehasz raised $166,153 and had $146,972 in the bank
Ehasz is hoping to “nationalize” the race, using the attention and anger caused by the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade to draw contributions. She saw a surge in donations right after the decision and released a poll showing her down 7 points to Fitzpatrick until abortion comes up in the conversation, giving her a 10-point lead.
Fitzpatrick, a former FBI agent now in his third term, also represents a crossover district, winning as a Republican while Hillary Clinton won the district in 2016 and Joe Biden won it in 2020. Sabato rates the district a “likely Republican” victory.
Sabato rates U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan’s Chester County district a “likely Democratic” win. Houlahan, a Democrat and Air Force veteran first elected in the 2018 midterms, raised $679,461 in the quarter and had $5,570,248 in the bank. Her Republican challenger, Guy Ciarrocchi, brought in $118,146 and had $193,568.
Ciarrocchi, the former CEO of the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry, ran briefly last year in the crowded Republican primary for governor but dropped out to seek a seat in Congress.
Jonathan Tamari contributed to this article.