Last-minute dollars flow to candidates

Published by Laura Olson on .

GOP attorney general candidate David Freed got more than $150,000 in financial help from the state Republican Party late last week -- part of the nearly $350,000 he's raised since daily campaign reporting began on Oct. 23.

An analysis of those reports shows that Freed has raised the second-most of any state candidate in that time period, trailing only fellow Republican D. Raja, who is battling Democrat Matt Smith to become the next state senator from Mt. Lebanon.

Raja, who had given his campaign coffers another $377,000 as of early last week, chipped in another $60,000 on Wednesday. 

Freed's reports also list $5,000 from Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley, and $8,650 from Freed's father-in-law, LeRoy Zimmerman -- who also was the state's first elected attorney general.

His opponent, Kathleen Kane, comes in fifth statewide with $161,750 in donations for the final reporting period.  She got a boost last week with $55,000 from SEIU's political arm and another $10,000 from AFSCME. 

Also getting from last-minute assistance is state Sen. Elder Vogel, R-Beaver. The state GOP gave him more than $115,000 last week, plus he received another $80,000 from the Senate Republican Campaign Committee.

Others getting some final fundraising help:

- Democratic state Senate candidate Rob Teplitz, in a tight Harrisburg-area contest to succeed GOP Sen. Jeffrey Piccola, reported $75,000 from the state AFL-CIO.

- Sherry Stalley, the Republican vying to defeat Johnstown Democratic state Rep. Bryan Barbin, reported $98,000 from the state party and $61,000 from the House Republican Campaign Committee.

Republican committees continue to outpace Democrats on the last-minute spending, a trend we noted last week.

A rough tally of the spelling variations for both state parties (i.e. -- "Republican Party of PA"/"Republican Party of Pennsylvania"/etc), indicates that the state GOP has spent at least $1.4 million in direct contributions to its candidates during the final reporting period, while the state Democrats' total is closer to $300,000.

Union spending also comes in near the top of the list when sorted by contributor, as do several education reform PACs, including Students First. 

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