One of the surprises in last week's first quarter FEC reports was in the 4th congressional district GOP race, where Mary Beth Buchanan was out-performed by little known Edgeworth attorney Keith Rothfus. It's surprising, as Jim O'Toole noted last week, because national Republicans believe Buchanan's ability to fundraise is one of her best assets -- along with her name recognition -- when it comes to taking on Jason Altmire in November.
Both candidates loaned themselves big money ($50G's in Buchanan's case and $65,000 by Rothfus). But in head-to-head fundraising from individual donors, Rothfus bested the former US Attorney by nearly $20,000, and had $30,000 more cash than she did at the end of the quarter.
But it's not all bad news for Buchanan. A late start (her campaign didn't register with the elections commission until Feb. 15) certainly hurt the totals, which were from Jan. 1 through March 31. And she does have the ability to tap some big wallets. Here are some of the names in the report made public Thursday:
-- Former Bush solicitor general (and Reagan assistant AG) Ted Olson (above); former Allegheny Ludlum steel magnate Dick Simmons (and daughter Amy and son-in-law financier Sean Sebastian); Grove City College president Richard Jewell; developer Damian Soffer; Buchanan-Ingersoll CEO Jack Barbour; and conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, via her Eagle Forum PAC. (The PAC also gave $2,000 to District 14 candidate Melissa Haluszczak, who's running against Mike Doyle.)
Rothfus, a former faith-based initiatives official in the Bush II administration, has some big names too, including Esmark steel CEO James Bouchard; former Mellon CEO Frank Cahouet; Heinz food services president Brendan Foley; and Grant Street Group president Myles Harrington.