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Heck, challenger Bilbray-Kohn step up fundraising in House race

Updated Thursday, April 17, 2014 | 8:23 a.m.

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U.S. Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev. gives a victory speech during a GOP election night watch party at the Venetian in Las Vegas on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

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Erin Bilbray

Taxes weren’t the only thing that needed filing on April 15; if you’re running for Congress this November, it was also the day to turn in the first election reports of the year.

In the House, both Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., and his Democratic challenger Erin Bilbray-Kohn picked up the fundraising pace in the first quarter, with Heck pulling in $365,086 and Bilbray-Kohn $271,528 — both about $100,000 better than their last quarterly hauls.

About 60 percent of their contributions came from individuals, with most of the rest coming from political operatives and political action committees. More high-ranking Democrats came forward to support Bilbray-Kohn’s campaign: Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., gave $1,000, while House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., ponied up $2,000. Nevada Democratic Reps. Dina Titus and Steven Horsford also gave Bilbray-Kohn $3,000 and $1,000, respectively, this cycle.

But Strip money is still favoring Heck. Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International and Fertitta Entertainment donated to Heck’s campaign, bringing his total contributions from those casino giants up to $2,500, $5,000 and $7,500 respectively. In comparison, Fertitta donated $1,000 to Bilbray-Kohn.

Heck has about three times more cash on hand ($1.24 million) than Bilbray-Kohn’s campaign ($426,518).

Meanwhile, the casinos and Democratic members of Congress are supporting Horsford’s campaign.

Horsford raised slightly more of his $219,655 from PACs than individuals this quarter. Caesars and MGM gave $2,500 and $5,000; Democratic leaders, including Hoyer, gave Horsford $4,000; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gave Horsford a second donation of $2,000. (Pelosi has also given Bilbray-Kohn’s campaign a total of $4,000.)

Horsford has $287,317 on hand.

In safer districts, Nevada lawmakers were somewhat less ambitious about their cash roundup for the quarter.

Titus brought in $131,997.37 in the first quarter of 2014, $63,039 of which was from individuals. Her cash on hand is close to that of Horsford. Titus has $238,458 and only $5,000 worth of debt. And while Democratic party leaders didn't add much to that campaign kitty this quarter, the Strip casinos did, with MGM and Caesar's contributing $2,500 each.

That’s less than Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., has in the bank: $170,330, with only $19,000 of debt. But it was Amodei who truly brought up the rear of the Nevada pack on fundraising this quarter, pulling in only $24,650 total, and only citing one individual donor: George Peek of Reno, who gave him $500.

It should be noted that Amodei was out of commission for much of the first quarter because of eye surgery, though his race is not considered competitive.

Fundraising totals for the two Nevada senators were not available as of midnight EST on April 15. While Senate campaigns have the same deadline as House campaigns, senators can elect to mail in their filings — meaning all they need is a postmark. People competing for House seats must file electronically.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect the correct first-quarter figures for Rep. Dina Titus. | (April 17, 2014)

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