Idaho’s LeFavour says $1 million goal in reach, even after just $88k in 2nd quarter

Boise Democratic state Sen. Nicole LeFavour says she’s not given up her $1 million fundraising goal after she raised about $88,000 compared to seven-term GOP Rep. Mike Simpson’s $194,000 in the quarter ending June 30.

Simpson is now near the $1 million mark, at $954,000 for the election cycle, while LeFavour’s total is $156,000. Election Day is Nov. 6.

In April, LeFavour said she needed $1 million to unseat Simpson. She’d raised almost $59,000 in the last two weeks of March and said he expected support from national groups as an openly gay lawmaker.

LeFavour said in an email that “the $1 million will include donations from national organizations and hopefully some independent expenditures.” So far, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, which supported LeFavour in her four legislative races, has stayed neutral.

LeFavour has raised just $2,900 from political action committees, with $2,500 of that from the Ironworkers Political Action League. Simpson has raised about $593,000 from PACs.

“National money takes time and proving yourself with your own fundraising and field work with voters across the district,” LeFavour said. “Many orgs would never endorse a candidate in a red state like this. That they are considering this race means they see promise in my campaign and this year's environment. I have commitments from several national orgs and have people who have scheduled and are organizing fundraising events for me in Seattle, Washington D.C. and Boston so far.”

LeFavour calls both her first quarter and second quarter “record setting” on her website, though former Democratic Congressman Richard Stallings raised about $500,000 in 1998 in losing to Simpson.

“I am fairly sure no other congressional candidate in the 2nd District in the past 16 years has raised as much as I did in the first quarter, especially in 2 weeks,” LeFavour said.

LeFavour is ahead of schedule for the other Democrats who've faced Simpson, excepting Stallings. In 2000, nominee Craig Williams raised no money in the entire election cycle; in 2002, Edward Kinghorn raised about $12,000; in 2004, Lin Whitworth raised $72,000; in 2006, Jim Hansen raised $164,000; in 2008, Deborah Holmes raised $14,000 and in 2010, Mike Crawford raised no money.

Simpson, also in an email, said he had no comment on LeFavour reaching about 16 percent of her goal, saying, "I am focused on my own campaign."

As for the role of national groups, Simpson wrote, “There is a lot of time between now and election day and there are a lot of races across the country for national organizations to consider. With that in mind, it is hard to predict where any organization will focus its resources and how much they’ll put into any specific race.”

Despite Simpson’s big advantage in overall fundraising, his edge in cash-on-hand is considerably smaller. Simpson had about $197,000 banked on June 30, LeFavour $118,000.

Simpson notes that he gave $300,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee to help elect other Republicans. “My fundraising efforts so far this cycle clearly demonstrate that I will be able to raise the resources necessary to run an effective and victorious campaign this fall.”

LeFavour, who campaigned in Twin Falls on Wednesday and Pocatello Thursday, said she’s buoyed by the response she’s getting as she meets people.

“The door knocking has been amazing,” she writes. “The enthusiasm from across the district from teachers, women, young people and the Latino/Hispanic community is humbling.

“People respond particularly well to the way I talk about jobs and the economy. I find it amazing people respond so positively to the statement that Congress is playing politics with people's lives, hoping to win this election. It seems to be universally understood across the political spectrum that that is what is happening and why we haven't put people back to work or addressed real economic issues now when so much is at stake.”

LeFavour is ahead of schedule for the other Democrats who've faced Simpson, excepting Stallings. In 2000, nominee Craig Williams raised no money in the entire election cycle; in 2002, Edward Kinghorn raised about $12,000; in 2004, Lin Whitworth raised $72,000; in 2006, Jim Hansen raised $164,000; in 2008, Deborah Holmes raised $14,000 and in 2010, Mike Crawford raised no money.

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Good luck, Nicole.

But no amount of money is going to unseat Mr. Simpson, because the money isn't the issue - it's the candidate running against him.

If $1M is in reach

the deficit is just a drop in the bucket.

It shows

that she'll say what is needed to help the campaign, regardless of the cold hard facts.

I think some in the Democratic party are tired of Nicole and want her out of politics. They have convinced her of this run, will watch her get steamrolled and hope she gives up.

I really don't think that will work though. She's pretty spunnky (online censor won't let me spell the word correctly) from what I've seen.

um, no

Everyone I know in the Democratic party didn't even realize she was planning to run until she announced, and we're excited she's taking this on and happy we aren't losing her. I admit I was skeptical initially but I've seen the numbers, especially after redistricting.

LOL

You gotta be kidding. She hasn't got a respectable chance. She's playing politics to her financial benefit. One way to meet/greet without incurring any personal financial responsibility. But, hey, that's true of all politicians. Hopefully, she'll be gone. Tired of the whining without proposing realistic solutions other than raise taxes. She's done, done, done.

No kidding.

She'll make the robo calls just like Jerry Brady did in his failed governor's bid. "We're closing the gap, just a little more money and..."