Rep. Jason Altmire, D-McCandless, has nearly ten times the campaign cash of his closest Republican challenger, according to the latest filings from the Federal Election Commission.
Mr. Altmire had $1,289,2999 at the end of the first quarter to defend a seat that Republicans have described as a prime target in November. His closest potential general election competitor was Keith Rothfus with $132,381 in cash. Mary Beth Buchanan, the former U.S. attorney, trailed with $101,911.
In the neighboring 12th District, the site of a special election as well as a primary after the death of John P. Murtha, Timothy Burns, the Republican nominee, invested a big chink of his own money to take a fundraising lead over Mark Critz, the former Murtha aide who is the Democratic nominee in the special election. Mr. Burns had $387,462 in cash compared to $330,238 for Mr. Critz. In a race regarded as a toss-up, the national campaign committee of both the Republican and Democratic parties are also heavily invested.
The 4th District filings were a mild surprise. Given her well-established name recognition, and ties to the Republican establishment, fund-raising had been expected to be a relative strength of Ms. Buchanan’s candidacy. The Rothfus campaign trumpeted its financial advantage in a statement.
“Despite superficial name recognition and endlessly repeated claims of support, Mary Beth Buchanan appears to have little support overall and even less in the actual district in which she is running,’’ her rival said.
In the 3rd District, freshman Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, D-Erie, was well ahead of her nearest challenger. After raising $264,000 in the first quarter, she had $856,000 in cash. Republican Paul Huber was her closest financial competitor with a cash balance of $298,208, most of that his own money, reflected in the campaign’s heft dent of $250,000. Another Republican, George J. Kelly Jr., had $189,894 in cash.
In the 18th Congressional District, Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, had $793,260, while his Democratic rival, Daniel C. Connolly had a balance of only $34,437.