GOP candidates have enormous cash advantage over Democrats


By Rob Port | North Dakota Bureau

LOPSIDED: Republican candidates on North Dakota’s statewide ballot hold a massive cash advantage over Democrats even when fundraising by the state political parties is factored in.

BISMARCK, N.D. — With North Dakota Republicans holding every statewide office on the ballot this year, Democrats were already facing an uphill climb.

A look at the campaign finances of the candidates indicates just how steep a climb it is. Collectively, the state Republican candidates and their political party hold a 584 percent campaign war chest advantage over Democrats.

A analysis of campaign finance reports filed with the North Dakota secretary of state’s office and the Federal Election Commission show the seven statewide GOP candidates and the party itself have a combined $1.334 million cash on hand advantage compared to a little more than $213,000 for Democrats.

Those numbers represent reporting through May 1 for the state candidates and the political parties, and through March 31 for the U.S. House candidates.

Only one Democrat has a cash advantage over her Republican opponent, but it’s a small one. Secretary of state candidate April Fairfield reported a little more than $10,000 in cash and the end of the preprimary reporting period compared to Republican incumbent Al Jaeger’s stash of slightly more than $7,000.

The Republican with the most cash is U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer, who reported more than $504,000 in cash on hand in his April quarterly report to the FEC.

His opponent, George Sinner, reported a little more than$33,000 in cash on hand.

For Democrats, Agriculture Commission candidate Ryan Taylor has the most cash in the bank, reporting an ending balance of more than $83,000 through May 1, though that’s significantly less than incumbent Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, who reported an ending balance of nearly $149,000.

Both parties have held endorsing conventions, and none of the candidates are facing challenges in the state primary election to be held in June. North Dakota’s at-large congressional seat, attorney general, secretary of state, tax commissioner, agriculture commissioner and two public service commissioners are on the ballot this year.

Here is a comparison of the cash totals for the candidates in each race: