If Democrats thought there might be a couple of chinks in the “armor” of the all-incumbent Republican statewide ticket, given that there are a couple of first-timers on the ballot this time around, they should think again. At least in terms of fundraising, the newbies are proving to be on their game.
As you can see from the press release below, Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak raised nearly $80,000 in her first reporting cycle. Fedorchak was appointed to her position last year to replace former Commissioner Tony Clark who received an appointment as a federal regulator. That’s not quite the $134,000 first-time Tax Commissioner candidate Ryan Rauschenberger (also appointed by Dalrymple) reported last week, but it’s a lot of money for a PSC race.
By way of comparison, consider that first-time PSC candidate Randy Christmann won his hotly-contested race against Democrat Brad Crabtree after raising $202,633.90 for the entire 2012 cycle.
This is big news for Fedorchak. Having $80k in your coffers before Democrats even have a candidate in the race is a nice head start.
Also, I reported previously that the North Dakota Republican Party is lagging far behind Democrats in fundraising. The big dollars going to candidates like Rauschenberger and Fedorchak is one reason for that disparity. North Dakota Republicans have incumbents with campaign committees. Democrats don’t.
Here’s the press release:
FEDORCHAK RAISES $80,000 IN 2013
Initial report provides strong start for Commissioner’s PSC race
Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak today will filed her first campaign finance disclosure with the North Dakota Secretary of State and reported raising nearly $80,000 to support her campaign for the Public Service Commission.
Fedorchak has received donations from 205 different individuals totaling $65,333 in contributions greater than $200, and $14,203.99 in donations $200 or less.
“I am extremely pleased with the strong response to my initial fundraising efforts both in terms of the number of donors and the level of the support,” Fedorchak said. “Family, friends and colleagues from throughout my career and from throughout North Dakota have been very generous. It’s extremely humbling and gratifying to receive this kind of support early on from the people who know me best.”
Fedorchak officially launched her campaign in November. She said she wanted to raise at least $50,000 by Dec. 31. Her final total surpasses this goal by 60 percent.
“This provides a very solid foundation for a strong campaign,” Fedorchak said. “I feel very good about my position right now. I know what my priorities are on the Commission and look forward to serving North Dakotans and discussing these issues during the campaign.”
Fedorchak’s experience as a senior adviser to both U.S. Sen. John Hoeven and Gov. Ed Schafer as well as 10 years as a private business owner allow her to be an effective advocate on the PSC for North Dakota families and individuals.
Her top priorities are:
1. Maintaining reliable, affordable electric service for North Dakota consumers during a time of incredible change in the electric industry.
2. Supporting efforts to reducing flaring.
3. Re-examining the state’s pipeline safety programs to better protect North Dakota’s environment and public safety.
4. Improving public awareness and involvement in PSC issues.
5. Maintaining the efficiency and responsiveness of the PSC while workload increase.
The PSC permits and regulates public utilities, grain warehouses, weights and measures and coal mining and reclamation and also sites a wide variety of energy-related projects from pipelines to gas plants and energy generation facilities
Gov. Jack Dalrymple appointed Fedorchak to the PSC in January 2013 to replace Kevin Cramer who was elected to the U.S. House.