With an insider’s eye, Hot Dish tracks the tastiest bits of Minnesota’s political scene and keep you up-to-date on those elected to serve you.

Contributors in Minnesota: Patrick Condon, Baird Helgeson, Patricia Lopez, Jim Ragsdale, Abby Simons, Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glen Stubbe. Contributors in D.C.: Allison Sherry, Corey Mitchell and Jim Spencer.

Posts about Minnesota campaigns

The cash contest: Major outside political groups have already raised $11 million

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: July 29, 2014 - 6:25 PM

By Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glenn Howatt

Outside groups -- unions, Democratic and Republican supporters and PACs set up just to support a single candidate -- have raised at least $15 million since the 2012 election.

Those outside groups, which had been slowly raising cash in preparation for the 2014 elections, began piling on money in earnest this summer. Since June 1, the largest independent spending groups raised more than $2.6 million, according to reports released Tuesday.

 As with previous election cycles, union organizations are gearing up with big cash. Education Minnesota, the state’s teachers union, led in fundraising among outside groups with $1.8 million already raised. All told, union affiliated PACs have raised more than $4.6 million to train on the 2014 election.

Much of that cash will benefit Democratic candidates and the Democratic Alliance for a Better Minnesota, which, with its supporters, has already brought in more than $1.8 million.

Republicans-leaning outside groups have already raised $2.6 million. The largest among them, the Freedom Club, launched a major television ad campaign against Dayton in July.

See a breakdown of the fundraising by some of the major outside groups below:

The cash contest: In party fundraising, DFL continues to dominate; GOP catching up

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: July 29, 2014 - 1:06 PM

Minnesota Democratic party groups continue to dominate the cash contests, raising more, spending more and having more cash-on-hand than Republican party groups, according to pre-primary fundraising reports released Tuesday.

But the Minnesota Republican party groups are catching up. After years of whittling down debt, the state party now has $435,000 in debt remaining in its state committee, which is nearly $100,000 less than it owned at the end of May.

By comparison, however, Democrats still have a clear edge in the money race.

The DFL state party has raised more than $2 million, with help from the DFL House and Senate caucuses. The Republican state party has raised about half that. The state DFL party has also spent about $600,000 more than the Republicans and has a little less than twice the GOP's cash on hand, with no major debt.

The Democratic edge in the House party committees is even more stark.

For the Republican and Democratic battle for control of the House in this election, the DFL House committee has amassed almost three times what the Republican House campaign committee has in fundraising. The DFL campaign arm has about twice as much cash on hand as the Republicans' and has spent about twice more than the Republican rival committee.

Dig into all the numbers below:

The cash contest: Minnesota House primaries

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: July 29, 2014 - 11:41 AM

By Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glenn Howatt

Next month, a handful of House districts will see heated primaries among candidates who hope to join the contested battle for control of the House.

In fundraising reports released Tuesday, Republican House Deputy Minority Leader Jenifer Loon has a significant cash lead on Sheila Kihne, whose candidacy denied Loon the GOP endorsement last spring.

Loon, who has support from many well known Republicans, raised nearly $83,000 for the fight. Much of her cash came this year. 

Kihne, a Republican activist, raised about $25,000 and also has support from funders who traditionally support the most conservative Republican candidates.

Loon was one of the few Republicans to back legalizing same-sex marriage, which has been an issue in the primary campaign.

Both Loon and Kihne, who are vying to represent Eden Prairie, have outside groups on their sides.

View the pre-primary fundraising numbers for both Democrats and Republicans vying for the House below:

The cash contest: Dayton leads Republicans in cash; Honour leads all in revenue

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: July 29, 2014 - 10:49 AM

By Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glenn Howatt

Facing an August primary, Republicans are spending money quickly but DFL Gov. Mark Dayton hoarding more cash until the GOP sorts out its contest, according to recent campaign finance reports.

In the required pre-primary reports, Dayton has held on to nearly $850,000 of the cash he has raised despite spending more per day on his campaign operations than his would-be Republican rivals.

Republican Scott Honour, one of four men with organized campaigns for the GOP primary next month, spent nearly as much per day and had more than $540,000 left to spend in the build up to the primary. Honour, a first time candidate whose background, has brought in nearly $1.8 million for his campaign, half of it from personal loans to his campaign.

Dig into all the numbers -- including those from Republican-endorsed Jeff Johnson, Rep. Kurt Zellers and former Rep. Marty Seifert -- below:

In other constitutional officer contests, the numbers show the impact of both incumbency and a contested DFL primary race for auditor. In the auditor's race, DFL primary challenger Matt Entenza poured $255,000 of his own cash into his campaign against DFL Auditor Rebecca Otto.

View all the numbers below: 

The cash contest: Johnson, House DFL release figures ahead of deadline

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: July 28, 2014 - 4:51 PM

Political campaigns are starting to release their latest fundraising figures ahead of Tuesday's deadline.

The Minnesota House Democratic caucus said it would post big numbers in their report due out Tuesday. According to the caucus, the Democratic campaign organization, fighting to keep House control in DFL hands, has raised $1.5 million this year, $780,000 in since June 1 alone. It has more than $1.5 million cash-on-hand to continue the battle.

In a release, the caucus said it had already raised more than the DFL caucus did in all of 2010, the last midterm election and the year Democrats lost control of the House.

Republican-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson also reported his most recent fundraising figures.

His campaign said he raised about $170,000 since Johnson was endorsed by the party at the end of May. He had $123,000 cash on hand.

Johnson, whose fundraising had lagged compared to his spending earlier this year, will face a competitive four-way primary in August against Rep. Kurt Zellers, businessman Scott Honour and former Rep. Marty Seifert.

Johnson, a Hennepin County commissioner, had said in June that he expected the campaign would need to raise $1 million before the primary. His fundraising haul makes it appear he will fall well short of his goal.

Honour, however, is on track to meet or exceed the $1 million mark. He has poured more than $900,000 of his own money into his campaign and raised significant cash from donors as well.

Monday was the deadline for Minnesota candidates to file their campaign fundraising hauls. Those figures will be released on Tuesday.

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