Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Reality rears its head in CD1

In the MNGOP's Year of the Primary Challenge, there's an odd situation in CD1-a Republican primary challenger who ran for the endorsement, promised to abide, and then changed his mind.  Jim Hagedorn, who claims he had an epiphany a few weeks after the convention and decided that he didn't think the endorsed candidate, Aaron Miller, was working hard enough, has done his best energizer bunny impression, trying to make public appearances everywhere possible.  But even a casual observation brings to light the fact that while Hagedorn does in fact travel around the district quite a lot, his public appearances and parades feature a small handful of supporters.  Miller on the other hand, appears with dozens of volunteers everywhere he goes.

But the real irony is that while Miller was suppossedly 'not working hard enough', what he was actually doing was raising money, exactly what newly endorsed candidates should be doing.  And the campaign finance reports just released this week validate Miller's strategy and should put the final nail in Hagedorn's campaign.  From the Mankato Free Press-
Hagedorn's $30,025 fundraising total included $18,310 in contributions from individuals and $11,725 from Hagedorn himself through in-kind contributions. His individual contributions included $3,000 from the Fitzsimmons family and people associated with their business Protein Sources.
While Congressman Walz raised over $230k this quarter, Hagedorn raised less than a tenth of that.

Miller, on the other hand, just announced fundraising totals of $143k, and $107k cash on hand.  His fundraising totals make it clear that he was doing the least fun thing for any campaign-raising money- in order to put himself in a competitive position with Congressman Walz.  Good fundraising totals attract the attention of national players and PAC's, which means Miller can leverage the hard work he has done raising money into larger donations and more national visibility.

Jim Hagedorn now faces the prospect of limping into the primary with few campaign signs, no presence at Republican events and country fair booths across the district, and certainly no money for radio or TV ads.

Interestingly, Hagedorn is likely to drag down the vote totals of another candidate who fumbled the endorsement-Marty Siefert.  Hagedorn's going back on his word about abiding upset a lot of activists, and is strongly motivating them to vote for the endorsed candidate.  That backlash against Hagedorn is carrying over to Siefert- primary voters in CD1 are much more likely to vote the endorsed GOP ticket because of their antics.

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