Shaheen Stocks 2014 Campaign Treasury Amid Possible N.H. Bid By Scott Brown

By Shelby Carignan
BU News Service

WASHINGTON – With just a year to go until the 2014 midterm election, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, continued to heavily stock their campaign treasuries in the third quarter of 2013, as their first formal adversaries entered the ring.

During the period from July 1 through Sept. 30, Shaheen raised just under $1 million, leaving her with $2.8 million on hand as she prepares to seek re-election to her second term in the Senate, according to the latest reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. She has raised a total of $4.42 million since the beginning of the 2013-2014 election cycle on Jan. 1.

In Maine, Collins, poised to run for her fourth term next year, brought in just over $800,000 in the third quarter, and also is sitting on a campaign treasury of about $2.8 million a year out from Election Day. She has raised a total of $3.13 million this year.

Both Shaheen and Collins are regarded as potential targets as Democrats and Republicans battle it out in 2014 for control of a Senate majority. However, despite the fact that Maine tilts Democratic, Collins seat is regarded as almost certain to stay in Republican hands – unless she were to opt to retire.

As of Sept. 30, both of the Republicans currently seeking the nomination to take on Shaheen had filed campaign disclosure statement with the FEC. Former state Sen. Jim Rubens, in his first FEC report, listed total receipts of $270,000, made up mostly by a $253,000 loan from Rubens himself.

The other candidate seeking the GOP Senate nod, former state Rep. Karen Testerman, has raised a little over $7,000 to date.

Several better known GOP names, such as former Sen. John Sununu – whom Shaheen ousted in 2008 — and former Rep. Charles Bass have taken a pass on the Senate race next year. But the biggest potential threat to Shaheen in a state that has been a major political battleground may come from former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass.

Brown recently launched a political committee — The People’s Seat PAC — in New Hampshire, where he has a vacation home. But Brown, who last year lost to now-Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has yet to say whether he will challenge Shaheen. He recently put his Massachusetts home on the market.

In turn, a PAC affiliated with Warren has come to Shaheen’s aid, donating $4,800 to the New Hampshire incumbent during the third quarter of the year.

Shaheen also received $5,000 from Prairie PAC, which is affiliated with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., as well as contributions from another 17 of Shaheen’s fellow Democratic senators. They gave donations ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 for a total of $57,800.

In the three months ending Sept. 30, Brown’s PAC brought in $80,000, mostly from direct mail and Internet fundraising appeals carried out by several firms that target conservative voters.

In Maine, Collins has drawn only one Democratic opponent so far: Shenna Bellows, executive director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine. Bellows, having just formally entered the race on Oct. 7, reported no contributions prior to Sept. 30, and listed just $6,445 in obligations on database and web consulting services.

During the third quarter, Collins received about $427,000 in donations from individuals and $219,500 from PACs. Her contribution total for the quarter also includes $159,000 in transfers from two Senate Republican joint fundraising committees: Restore Our Majority 2013 and the 2013 Senators Classic Committee.

The latest FEC filing period closed just prior to the 16-day government shutdown that began on Oct. 1. As one of the few moderate Republicans left in Congress, Collins got widespread praise inside the Beltway – and likely some additional political points back home – for her role in crafting a compromise that helped to end the legislative stalemate.

Meanwhile, in a key House race, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., raised about $183,500 in the third quarter — as she may be headed for a rematch with former GOP Rep. Frank Guinta in the state’s 1st District. The latter includes Manchester, where Guinta is a former mayor, as well as the New Hampshire seacoast.

During the 2013-2014 election cycle that began Jan. 1, Shea-Porter has raised a total of just under $385,000, and had $281,000 in her campaign treasury as of Sept. 30, according to filings with the FEC.

Guinta, who announced his candidacy in late September – just prior to the closing of the FEC third quarter filing period – reported taking in $1,655 during the third quarter, and had about $750 in his campaign treasury. Guinta also has about $290,000 – which has been on the books since his 2010 campaign — with one year to go until Election Day 2014.

Shea-Porter first won the seat in 2006, was ousted by Guinta in 2010, and then won back the seat last year. The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call this week included Shea-Porter, who defeated Guinta in 2012 by just 4 percentage points over Guinta, as one of the 10 most vulnerable incumbents nationwide up for re-election in 2014.

If Guinta is to face off with Shea-Porter for a third time, he will first have to get through a primary with Dan Innis of Portsmouth, who is stepping down as dean of the University of New Hampshire business school to make the race. Innis announced his candidacy in early October, and so will have to file his first FEC report for the three-month period that ends Dec. 31.

For the third quarter, Shea-Porter raised a majority of her funds — $114,000 – from individuals, but almost $70,000 came from political action committees. Shea-Porter received $25,600 from fellow Democratic members of Congress.

Donations included $5,000 from PAC To The Future, affiliated with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; Off The Sidelines, a PAC affiliated with Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y., contributed $7,500 total to Shea-Porter’s campaign.

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