Armstrong Raised Twice What Campbell Did First Quarter of 2018

Supporters of Kelly Armstrong celebrate as it becomes apparent that he was building a large lead in the delegate count at Saturday's convention. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

After losing the House race endorsement to Kelly Armstrong at the NDGOP state convention earlier this month Tom Campbell, after initially flirting with a run to the June primary ballot, announced that he’d be folding his campaign (though his name will still be on the ballot because he did file petition signatures to be there).

This morning we have available to us FEC reports from both the Armstrong and Campbell campaigns, and the numbers tell us what likely drove Campbell’s decision.

Campbell, who launched his campaign initially as a Senate bid back in August, raised about $1 million in 2017 according to his year-end report. But about 3/4’s of that came out of his own pocket, leading many to perceive a deep ambivalence to his candidacy.

That ambivalence seems to have continued into 2018, despite the House race heating up, given that Campbell raised just under $180,000 from January 1 through March 31 of this year (he didn’t report any more loans to his campaign).

By contrast Armstrong roughly double what Campbell did – over $358,000 not counting a $100,000 loan the candidate made to his campaign – despite not having began his campaign until February.

Armstrong also out-raised his Democratic opponent. “Schneider, who was the state Senate minority leader before losing his re-election bid in 2016, raised more than $128,000,” John Hageman reports. “He launched his campaign in early March. Armstrong had more than $236,000 in cash on hand at the end of March. Schneider had almost $126,000 in cash on hand.”

Armstrong is still facing challengers on the June primary ballot. Both Marine veteran Tiffany Abentroth and Minot resident Paul Schaffner filed to be in the June ballot despite combining for a total of just 28 delegate votes at the NDGOP convention (27 for the former, 1 for the latter).

Neither Abentroth nor Schaffner have their April Quarterly campaign disclosure reports available through the FEC as of this morning.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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