Landrieu ahead in fundraising
By MELINDA DESLATTE
BATON ROUGE — Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu has outpaced her Republican challenger, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, in the latest fundraising cycle for the 2014 Senate race, according to information released Tuesday by their campaigns.
Both candidates raised more than $1 million in the fundraising period from April through June 30, and they framed themselves as ahead of — or at least on track with — where candidates stood at this point during the most recent Senate elections in Louisiana.
Landrieu’s campaign said the three-term senator from New Orleans brought in nearly $1.7 million during the quarter and has $4.9 million in her campaign account.
“With almost $5 million in the bank and a fantastic, talented team, we are going to have the resources and skills to run a very competitive and successful campaign,” Landrieu said in a statement.
Cassidy’s campaign said the congressman from Baton Rouge brought in nearly $1.1 million during the same period, bringing his campaign account to $3.2 million.
“I’m incredibly grateful for all the support I’ve received since announcing my candidacy for U.S. Senate. Louisianans agree that we need to make Washington more accountable and more people-focused,” Cassidy said in a statement.
The election is more than a year away, set for November 2014, and both candidates could be on track for heftier spending than in past Senate races.
Landrieu’s campaign said the senator has $2 million more than she had in her campaign coffers at the same point in her last re-election cycle.
Meanwhile, Cassidy’s campaign said the congressman has raised a similar amount of money and has an equal amount of cash on hand as Louisiana’s other U.S. senator, David Vitter, reported at the same period in his 2010 re-election bid.
Landrieu is considered vulnerable because she is a Democrat in a state that tends to vote Republican in national elections, but she’s been characterized as a GOP target in each of her last elections and managed to hold onto her seat.
Establishment Republicans appear to be aligning behind Cassidy, who announced his candidacy in April. Other congressmen who had been eyeing the race have stepped aside, and Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal said he has no interest in running for the Senate seat.
A second GOP contender has announced his candidacy: Rob Maness, a retired Air Force colonel and tea party supporter from Madisonville. A request for Maness’ fundraising figures wasn’t immediately returned Tuesday.
Campaign fundraising documents for the quarter are due to the Federal Election Commission next week.