Iowa races for attorney general and treasurer could become competitive this fall as Republican challengers build up their bank accounts, new financial disclosures indicate.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald, both Democrats, have served lengthy tenures in Iowa politics. Both are seeking an 11th term in office, and both have held their role longer than any other attorney general or treasurer in the country.
Both were bested by their Republican rivals during the latest fundraising period, which ran from Jan. 1 to May 14.
Brenna Bird, who is running unopposed for the Republican nomination for attorney general, was elected Guthrie County attorney in 2018 and previously served as chief counsel to Gov. Terry Branstad. She reported raising nearly $300,000.
Miller’s campaign reported raising $169,449.24 — a total that included a $50,000 donation from a Democratic PAC. However, statewide candidates may not accept PAC money until the legislative session ends, so Miller’s campaign said Wednesday it would return the donation, leaving him with $119,449.24 in contributions.
Without that PAC donation, Miller has $187,462.18 in his bank account, compared to Bird’s $227,315.72.
Fitzgerald was also dramatically outraised by his Republican challenger.
State Sen. Roby Smith is running unopposed for the Republican nomination for treasurer. He tallied nearly $79,000 in contributions, giving him just more than $200,000 in the bank.
Fitzgerald raised about $21,500 and has about $70,000 in cash on hand.
Both Miller and Fitzgerald have deep ties to the state and tend to draw less partisan ire than some other elected officials. But 2022 is expected to be a strong year for Republicans broadly, and Iowa Republicans are looking to capitalize.
Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds has amassed a huge war chest that dwarfs that of her Democratic opponent, Des Moines businesswoman Deidre DeJear. And Democrats fear that without a competitive race herself, Reynolds could instead funnel time and money into helping knock off down-ballot candidates like Miller and Fitzgerald.
Here’s a look at the fundraising numbers for those and other statewide races.
Incumbent Tom Miller (D)
Cash contributions with the illegal contribution: $169,449.24 on his report
Cash contributions without the contribution: $119,449.24
Amount spent: $79,427.57
Cash on hand with the contribution: $237,462.18
Cash on hand without the contribution: $187,462.18
Brenna Bird (R)
Cash contributions: $293,292.57
Amount spent: $94,949.39
Cash on hand: $227,315.72
Incumbent Michael Fitzgerald (D)
Cash contributions: $21,583.90
Amount spent: $1,414.15
Cash on hand: $70,007.07
Roby Smith (R)
Cash contributions: $78,705.38
Amount spent: $23,099.81
Cash on hand: $200,136.15
Incumbent Rob Sand (D)
Cash contributions: $221,502.54
Amount spent: $77,531.12
Cash on hand: $1,050,234.00
Mary Ann Hanusa (R)
Cash contributions: $25,480.00
Amount spent: $13,274.82
Cash on hand: $12,705.18
Todd Halbur (R)
Cash contributions: $7,073.00
Amount spent: $3,336.54
Cash on hand: $3,736.46
Secretary of state
Incumbent Paul Pate (R)
Cash contributions: $17,012.94
Amount spent: $8,286.30
Cash on hand: $40,329.45
Joel Miller (D)
Cash contributions: $1,095.00
Amount spent: $6,783.23
Cash on hand: $2,173.63
Eric Van Lancker (D)
Cash contributions: $36,784.16
Amount spent: $36,524.24
Cash on hand: $19,457.44
This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Iowa Republicans outraise Democrats in key statewide races