Republican 5th Congressional District Candidate Pearl Kim is enjoying a significant lead in cash-on-hand at the end of July, despite being outraised by Democratic nominee Mary Gay Scanlon.
That is because Kim, who had $293,577 on hand as of June 30, was the sole contender in her party’s May primary, while Scanlon, who ended June with just $166,997, spent more than $880,000 getting to the top of a crowded field of Democratic contenders.
“We raised significantly more than (Kim), but we’ve spent a large portion of that in the primary,” said Joel Coon, campaign manager and senior advisor for Scanlon. “We have continued to raise money and are well on track to having the resources we need to be competitive in the fall.”
Scanlon raised $1,048,398.78 between Jan. 1 and June 30, according to Federal Election Commission filings. Of that, $663,298.84 came from individual donors and $300,000 was listed as a loan. Another $84,500 came from other committees.
But Scanlon, who stared down nine other candidates in securing more than 28 percent of the vote in May, has disbursed $881,401.82 of those funds as well, leaving her about $126,000 behind Kim at the beginning of July.
Kim has meanwhile raised $350,321.22, including $134,871.28 from individual contributions. Her total also included a loan of $199,999.94 and committee contributions totaling $15,300, according to the FEC.
Kim campaign spokesman Pete Peterson noted that Kim really did not begin fundraising until after she left her position with the state Attorney General’s office in March, however. She has also spent far less, just $56,744 as of June 30.
That gives her the monetary advantage as the general election campaign heats up over the summer, but Coon believes Scanlon has a different kind of advantage – vastly greater name recognition due to her earlier advertising blitz.
Peterson questioned just how much that advertising bought Scanlon, though, noting about seven out of every 10 voters in the district still went for someone else.
“After a successful bid for the Democratic nomination, where she won by 13 points in a 10 way primary, Mary Gay Scanlon has continued to build momentum,” said spokeswoman Gabby Richards. “She’s been focused on not only raising money, but meeting with voters across the 5th District. To date, Mary Gay has received 29,720 individual contributions, raising over $1,048,249.”
The newly drawn 5th District was created by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court after the Republican-controlled state Legislature and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf were unable to reach unanimity on new maps. It is comprised of Delaware County, parts of South Philadelphia and a sliver of Montgomery County. Most political observers say the district is more favorable to Democrats than Republicans.
The old 7th and 1st districts will no longer exist after the end of he year. Former U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan, R-7 of Chadds Ford, resigned his seat after a sexual harassment scandal and Rep. Bob Brady, D-1 of Philadelphia, is not seeking re-election.
Though Scanlon is from Swarthmore and Kim is from Radnor, both campaigns say their candidates are playing well in Philadelphia.
Coon said former 5th District candidate Rich Lazer was incredibly helpful on the union front following the election before returning to his post as Philadelphia’s Deputy Mayor for Labor. Scanlon also has ties to Southwestern Philadelphia from her decades of pro bono work, he added.
Peterson said Kim likewise has friends and professional connections in Philadelphia through her work as a former Assistant District Attorney in Delaware County and as a member of the Asian Pacific Islander community.
“She’s actually pulling in from a very diverse group of people,” said Peterson. “There’s a lot of people who haven’t traditionally been donors to political campaigns who are jumping in and donating to Pearl because she’s a minority female and there are a lot of people who like that fresh look and fresh perspective.”
Coon and Peterson said their candidates will continue to fundraise throughout the summer in the run-up to the November General Election. The next quarterly report deadline is Oct. 15.