Congresswoman Mary Peltola is ramping up fundraising for her 2024 campaign to keep the seat that will be a top target for a Republican takeover next November.
Peltola’s latest campaign finance report shows she raised nearly $600,000 over three months. That was a significant boost from the report covering the first quarter of the year, in which the campaign spent more than it raised.
Her campaign manager Anton McParland said they started the year with a bit of a breather.
They were “feeling like Alaskans deserves some time away from campaigning generally. But we’re in full throttle for Quarter 2,” he said.
A candidate’s quarterly campaign finance reports provide insight into the race, and Peltola’s already suggests that this campaign will draw a lot of money and attention from outside the state.
“This will be one of the most competitive races in the country,” said Ben Petersen, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, the GOP arm working to keep the House in Republican hands. He said Peltola is vulnerable because she’s a Democrat from a state that voted for Donald Trump in the last election, and both parties are gearing up to fight for the seat.
So far, one Republican is in the race: Chugiak businessman Nick Begich III, who came in third in last year’s U.S. House race. Begich said it’s telling that Peltola raised a lot of money this year from Political Action Committees.
“Nearly $300,000, only six months in, from Political Action Committees and special interests,” he said. “I think it speaks volumes about where she’s at in D.C.”
Peltola’s PAC money comes from a variety of groups, from unions to airlines and defense contractors. ExxonMobil’s PAC gave her $1,000. So did a PAC affiliated with the Environmental Defense Fund. A PAC dedicated to helping mothers — called Moms Fed Up — gave her twice that.
Begich points out that a lot of the PAC money comes from liberal groups, including committees associated with Democratic leaders like Hakeem Jeffries and Nancy Pelosi.
“That kind of demonstrates, you know, some of the more left-leaning support that she’s got, because she’s quite frankly, sided with many of the most left representatives in the House,” he said.
It’s true that Peltola votes in line with the Democratic position most of the time. But she’s voted against her party 47 times this year. According to a vote database maintained by ProPublica, Peltola ranks No. 9 among 435 representatives for votes that cross the aisle.
McParland, Peltola’s campaign manager, said the wide range of PACs shows donors are tired of extreme partisanship and appreciate her moderate approach.
Most of Peltola’s total came from individual donors. While Alaskans gave more than residents of any other single state, in-state contributions amount to only about a quarter of the total.
“I think that that is probably going to continue being the case, and will simply just be a function of population size in the state, compared to the larger population across the country,” McParland said.
Begich’s quarterly report shows no fundraising yet this year. Last year he loaned his campaign $650,000, and after the election withdrew about a third of that from his campaign account to repay himself.