Candidates for congress were required to report their quarterly fundraising totals yesterday and the two Democratic women running for congress in Iowa reported seven-figure campaign contribution totals.
In the first congressional district, Democrat Abby Finkenauer of Dubuque raised $1.6 million during the period for her race against Republican Congressman Rod Blum, who’s also from Dubuque. Blum, by comparison, has raised about $1.6 million in the entire election cycle. Blum raised about $470,000 in the last quarter.
Shifting to fundraising in Iowa’s third congressional district, Democrat Cindy Axne of West Des Moines raised $2.1 million in the quarter. Her opponent, Republican Congressman David Young of Van Meter, raised about half a million dollars. Young announced yesterday that Vice President Mike Pence is coming to Des Moines this Friday for a Young for Congress fundraiser. It’s the second fundraiser Pence has headlined for Young and follows President Trump’s very public endorsement of Young at a rally in Council Bluffs last week.
In other campaign-related news, Quad Cities TV station KWQC announced that Saturday’s debate between Democratic Congressman Dave Loebsack of Iowa City and Republican challenger Christopher Peters has been cancelled after Loebsack refused to participate because a third candidate was excluded.
Loebsack asked debate sponsors to invite Mark Strauss of Bettendorf, the Libertarian candidate in the district, be on stage, too, this Saturday. KWQC’s criteria for participating in the debate required a candidate to show they’d raised at least a quarter of a million dollars and/or had at least a 10 percent showing in a Des Moines Register “Iowa Poll” — and Strauss did not meet those benchmarks. St. Ambrose University, a co-sponsor of the debate, also cited logistical and time concerns about adding a third candidate to the debate.
Strauss, the Libertarian candidate in the second congressional district, has participated in other forums with Loebsack and Peters. Loebsack argued because Strauss had qualified for the ballot, Strauss should be included in the televised debate. Peters, the Republican challenging Loebsack, told the station Loebsack is turning his back on his constituents and refusing to answer questions from voters.
Loebsack raised $357,000 in the last quarter for his campaign seeking a seventh term in the U.S. House.