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Rep. Lee raises $1.2 million in third quarter, amid tight race for District 3

Sean Golonka
Sean Golonka
Election 2022
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Democratic Rep. Susie Lee raised more than $1.2 million from July through September, as she defends her seat against Republican April Becker in one of the most heavily contested congressional races in the country, her campaign told The Nevada Independent this week.

That amount continued a fundraising hot streak for Lee, who raised more than $1.1 million in the second quarter. Lee’s large third-quarter haul also pushed her total fundraising for the election cycle to more than $5.4 million, a record for a Nevada House race, data from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) shows.

Details of Lee’s spending in the quarter were not immediately available ahead of the release of her quarterly campaign finance report with the FEC, due by Oct. 15, but the Congressional District 3 race between Lee and Becker has been among the most expensive House races in the country.

As of Sept. 21, the candidates and outside groups had spent $25 million in the battleground district, the most of any “toss-up” House race in the country, according to data from the political ad tracking firm AdImpact.

Lee’s campaign said it ended the third quarter with more than $1.2 million in cash on hand, putting her spending total for the period at roughly $2.5 million.

The high amount spent in District 3 also includes significant expenses from super PACs associated with the major parties. The Democrat-aligned House Majority PAC has reported spending nearly $1.3 million on the race to support Lee, while the conservative Congressional Leadership Fund has reported spending $4.6 million in support for Becker.

The strong fundraising quarter for Lee also likely stretches her cash lead over Becker, a real estate attorney who has trailed Lee in fundraising each quarter. Entering July, Lee reported having $2.6 million in campaign cash on hand, compared with roughly $363,000 for Becker, who spent much of her cash ahead of the June primary election.

In recent fundraising emails, Becker has raised alarms about needing more money in the tight race. In one September email, she called it the “MOST EXPENSIVE House race in the entire country” and “a MUST win race for Republicans to secure the majority,” while adding that voters were seeing Lee’s broadcast television ads twice as often as hers.

Rare public polls on the race have shown a near dead-even race between Lee and Becker.

Though Democrats have controlled the historically swingy District 3 since the 2016 election, Republicans see a pickup opportunity in the primarily suburban district, which encompasses the southern portion of Clark County and stretches through many of the Las Vegas Valley’s wealthiest areas. 

Despite the district’s leftward shift during last year’s redistricting process, Democrats hold less than a 6-point advantage over Republicans in voter registration. Both candidates are also vying for support from nearly 39 percent of voters in the district who are not registered with either major party.

Update — 10/13/2022 at 9:43 a.m. — This story was updated to include the source for information about Lee's record fundraising this cycle.

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