Jul 19, 2022 - Politics

Campaign cash flows into Minneapolis congressional race

ilhan omar
Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The race for Minneapolis' 5th Congressional District is once again attracting serious campaign cash.

The big picture: DFL U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar and her challengers brought in a combined $1.8 million between April and June, according to new campaign finance filings. That's more than any other U.S. House contest in the state in the same period.

State of play: Omar's most prominent same-party challenger, former Minneapolis City Council Member Don Samuels, reported nearly $600,000 in donations in the second quarter, out-raising the incumbent by about $200,000.

  • Both ended June with roughly a half million to spend in the weeks leading up to the Aug. 9 primary.

Meanwhile, GOP-endorsed candidate Cicely Davis took in more than $713,000 but spent heavily and ended the quarter with just $223,000 in the bank. A large portion of her second-quarter expenditures went to political consultants and mail firms.

  • Another Republican running in the August primary, former basketball player Royce White, also raised six-figures. Though he spent more than he collected.

Between the lines: Omar's national profile has fueled opponents' fundraising hauls in the past, especially on the Republican side.

  • But while campaign fundraising can indicate a competitive race, this seat will almost certainly remain in DFL hands following the November midterms given Democrats' strong advantage in the district.

Context: Omar defeated well-funded DFL primary challenger Antone Melton-Meaux by a 20-point margin in 2020.

  • Her general election rival, Republican Lacy Johnson, raised more than $1 million but won just 25% of the vote in the heavily Democratic district in the November vote.

Of note: While the Fifth District hopefuls raised the most cash collectively, incumbent U.S. Rep. Angie Craig, running in the battleground 2nd Congressional District, reported the biggest second quarter haul of any individual candidate running for Congress in Minnesota.

  • The Prior Lake Democrat reported more than $1.4 million in contributions for her re-election bid ending the quarter with $4.7 million cash on hand.
  • Her Republican opponent Tyler Kistner reported about $485,000 in contributions and $523,000 in the bank.

Expect spending by outside groups to play a big role in that swing district race.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to state that U.S. Rep. Angie Craig reported more than $1.4 million (not $1.1 million) in contributions during Q2.

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