Democratic House Candidate Raises Paltry $36,000 in First Quarter

Congressional candidate Ben Hanson (Grady McGregor / Forum News Service)

North Dakota’s Democrats would like us to believe that there’s a lot of enthusiasm in the state for unseating incumbent Republican Congressman Kevin Cramer in the upcoming 2018 election cycle. But judging by the financials for Ben Hanson, the only challenger to Cramer to announce so far, that just isn’t the case.

Hanson announced his campaign back in mid-August, but according to his October quarterly filing with the FEC which covers transactions through September 30 he’s raised just barely over $36,000 so far. He’s spent roughly $10,000 and had about $26,000 in cash at the end of the reporting period:

That’s a pathetic sum, even for a first-time federal candidate this early in the election cycle. You’d expect a viable challenger to have seen a surge in early fundraising putting at least a six-figure sum in their campaign coffers.

There’s probably a reason why Democrat Senate incumbent Heidi Heitkamp announced her fundraising totals over the weekend, before filing her report with the FEC, but Hanson didn’t.

This report is kind of embarrassing.

Just as a point of reference, Cramer took in over $103,000 in the quarter and had over $800,000 in cash on hand at the end of it, and he hasn’t even announced his re-election campaign yet.

Given that North Dakota’s Democrats have a shrinking party largely marginalized in state politics by voters, it seems unlikely that they’ll be able to recruit enough candidates to have competitive primaries for races like the U.S. House.

Which means that for Democrats Hanson, who lost his seat in the state Legislature after coming in last place among four candidates last year, is probably going to be their candidate for the House.

As if the state’s Democrats needed another reason to be morose about the state of their party.

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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