Friday, June 1, 2012 | 2 a.m.
Things are looking fairly financially lopsided as Nevada’s congressional hopefuls head into their primary elections.
Steven Horsford, the presumed Democratic candidate for the new 4th Congressional District, has more cash on hand than the top Republicans vying to run against him combined: Over half a million dollars, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission Thursday, compared with barely $75,000 for the deep-pocketed Dan Schwartz, close to $40,000 for the senior stateswoman Barbara Cegavske, and just shy of $64,000 for Danny Tarkanian, who’s favored to win.
Horsford pulled in over $142,000 since early April, according to the report, while every Republican in the 4th brought in less than $40,000 over the same period. Tarkanian and Schwartz are also riddled with debt that dwarfs their already meager cash stores: Tarkanian is $263,528 in the hole, while Schwartz’s campaign owes $312,133 — some of that to himself.
Over in the 3rd Congressional District, there’s a less-dramatic but still-measurable gap between candidates, with the party roles flipped: Incumbent Rep. Joe Heck, a Republican, has about $1.1 million on hand after raising almost $216,000 since the beginning of April, while his presumed challenger, Democrat John Oceguera, has a little more than $438,000 in his coffers after raising almost $76,000 in the past two months. Neither campaign is reporting any debt.
The totals are the latest counts of the cash candidates will have to work with as they slog through the last two weeks of the pre-primary season; the FEC requires that all candidates facing a primary file by May 31.
That said, don’t expect those who do have respectable sums of money to be blowing it all on an ad blitz.
For all the campaigning and fundraising that’s under way in Nevada’s two big swing districts, the 4th District is the only race for the House of Representatives that’s expected to be competitive in the June 12 primary — and even then, only in the Republican Party.
Whoever emerges from that contest as the party’s candidate will have a lot of financial ground to make up, to keep pace with Horsford — though once a candidate is selected, there will be more potential sources of cash, from state and national Republican donors, to tap into.
For everyone else, the filings are a marker, five months out from Election Day, of where the matchups stand.
Neither Oceguera nor Heck really have competitive primaries.
Neither do the favorites to win in the 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts, which nobody really expects to swing.
Former Congresswoman Dina Titus, the Democrat expected to win the 1st District, is reporting a war chest of almost $345,000 in forms filed Thursday, while 2nd Congressional District Republican Rep. Mark Amodei — who didn’t file new forms this week — was reporting almost $90,000 total in campaign donations through the end of March.