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In competitive 4th Congressional District Democratic primary, Horsford raising, spending money at a quick clip

Michelle Rindels
Michelle Rindels
Election 2018

Fundraising reports show former Rep. Steven Horsford is far ahead of his many Democratic primary opponents in collecting donations in the 4th Congressional District race, but his heavy spending to ward off those challengers is leaving him well behind the Republican frontrunner in building up a general election war chest.

Pre-primary financial disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission that cover April and the first three weeks of May show that Horsford had about one-fourth the cash on hand as Republican former Rep. Cresent Hardy, who doesn’t have any formidable primary challengers.

Democrats seized on the 4th Congressional District race after freshman Rep. Ruben Kihuen was accused of sexual harassment and announced he wouldn’t seek re-election, saying the allegations, which he denies, would be a distraction.

Horsford counts support from the politically powerful Culinary Union as well as establishment staples, including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and former Vice President Joe Biden. If he wins the primary, he’ll likely face a rematch of a 2014 race against Hardy, which he lost.

Some highlights from the reports:

Horsford raised $110,134 in the latest reporting period, and has raked in $357,694 since he first jumped into the race. Notable donors include House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and her affiliate, PAC to the Future, the National Beer Wholesalers Association PAC and Daniel Greenspun, former chairman of Las Vegas Sun parent company Greenspun Media Group.

He’s been spending at a rapid clip, with $233,802 in expenditures this period and a total of $293,865 this cycle. He had $66,330 on hand heading into early voting. His biggest expenditures were for direct mail pieces, ad production and a variety of consultants assisting with media, general strategy and fundraising.

Medicare for All activist Amy Vilela reports raising $39,286 and spending $52,310 in the last period, ending with $12,607 cash on hand. The campaign also owes $32,801 in loans.

She lists a significant number of small-dollar donors from Nevada, California and other states. Other notable donors are Democratic Senate candidate Jesse Sbaih, former Assemblyman Andrew Martin and World Series of Poker player Frank Kassela.

Significant expenses include payroll costs and services from general consulting firm Tanzeem Group.

State Sen. Pat Spearman reported she received $36,041 in the pre-primary period, spent $42,268 and ended with $21,309 cash on hand. She also has about $16,000 in debt owed to an accounting firm and a campaign compliance firm.

Notable contributions include the LGBTQ Victory Fund Federal PAC and Nevada lawmakers Ozzie Fumo, Patricia Farley and David Parks. Major expenditures include consulting fees, costs for research and road signs.

High school principal John Anzalone reported raising $33,245 last period and spending $55,596, leaving him with $53,082 cash on hand.

Regent Allison Stephens was warned by the FEC that her report was late and she could face fines. She had ended last period with $18,523 cash on hand.

Republicans and minor candidates

Ex-Rep. Hardy raised $126,983 in the pre-primary period and spent $40,126. He ends the period with $276,801 cash on hand. Notable donors include casino owner Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam, Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison and the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund PAC.

His biggest expenditures were to consulting firm Red Rock Strategies and to staffer Ross Hemminger, who managed his last congressional campaign.

Ex-Clark County GOP Chairman David Gibbs reported raising $2,945 from a handful of individual donors and spending $25,007, almost all for mailers paid to a Virginia company called Bedrock Data.

Nine candidates who have declared their candidacy have submitted no pre-primary reports and don’t appear to be doing serious campaign spending. They include Democrat Sidney Zeller, Republican Kenneth Wegner, Republican William Bill Miller Townsend, nonpartisan Rodney Smith, Democrat Mike Monroe, Republican Jeff Miller, nonpartisan Dean McGonigle, independent Warren Markowitz and Libertarian Greg Luckner.

Disclosure: The Culinary Union and Patricia Farley have donated to The Nevada Independent. You can see a full list of donors here.

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