HELENA - Former land-trust director Grant Kier and Billings attorney John Heenan continue to be the top fundraisers among the six Democrats trying to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Gianforte this year.
But Gianforte, who’s running for a second term, out-raised all of the Democrats combined during the first three months of this year, taking in a net $719,000.
Gianforte, 56, a high-tech entrepreneur and philanthropist from Bozeman, won election as Montana’s only U.S. House member in a special election last May.
In filings with the Federal Election Commission late last week, Gianforte reported his latest fundraising totals: About $719,000 for the first quarter, pushing his total post-election fundraising to $1.32 million in the past 10 months.
After spending about $377,000 during the first quarter of this year, Gianforte still had $947,000 in his campaign account.
Six Democrats are vying for the party’s nomination to challenge Gianforte this year. The June 5 primary election will choose the winner.
In total, the six Democrats reported raising about a net $630,000 from January-March this year.
Here’s a look at the individual fundraising numbers for the Democratic U.S. House candidates:
Grant Kier: While Heenan has the biggest overall campaign bank account, Kier, the former director of the Five Valleys Land Trust in Missoula, has raised the most money in contributions from other people.
He took in $218,000 in donations during the first three months of the year, pushing his overall total to $654,000 – including $2,700 from his own pocket. Kier had $433,000 in his campaign account as of March 31.
John Heenan: Heenan’s campaign has taken in a net $717,000 since he entered the race last summer – but that amount includes $235,000 in outstanding loans and contributions from Heenan’s own pocket.
During the first quarter, Heenan’s campaign reported net income of about $196,000 – including a $19,500 contribution from himself and a net amount of personal loans of $10,000. He ended the quarter with $386,000 in the bank.
Kathleen Williams: The former state representative from Bozeman reported raising a respectable $145,000 during the first quarter, pushing her overall total to $218,000 for the campaign. She ended the quarter with $140,000 in the bank.
Lynda Moss: The former state senator from Billings raised a net $40,000 the first three months of this year, including a loan from herself of about $8,000. Since entering the race last fall, Moss has raised about $96,000 – including total loans from her own pocket of $16,000. She ended the quarter with $38,000 in her campaign account.
Jared Pettinato: An attorney from Bozeman, Pettinato raised about $30,000 during the first quarter of the year, increasing his fundraising total to $66,000 – which includes a $10,000 loan from himself. He ended the quarter with $23,000 in his campaign bank account.
John Meyer: The environmental attorney from Bozeman, who just entered the race March 12, had not filed an FEC report as of Monday. He’s not required to file a report if he raised or spent less than $5,000.