Democrat Joe Cunningham has opened up a cash advantage of more than $200,000 over Republican Katie Arrington as the midterm elections draw near, outraising her again from July through September, according to newly filed campaign finance disclosures.
Arrington, who upset U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford in June's GOP primary, brought in around $539,000 during the third quarter of 2018, while Cunningham raised $865,000.
Even though Cunningham spent more than double Arrington's output over the same time period — $635,000 to $273,000 — he ended September with $543,000 in the bank to Arrington's $339,000.
Cunningham's haul also came while continuing to eschew money from large special-interest groups, a pledge he has emphasized throughout the campaign.
"Unlike our opponent, Joe isn't beholden to special interests, like oil or pharmaceutical companies because he isn't taking their money," said Cunningham campaign manager Mariah Hill. "The Lowcountry is ready for a leader in Washington who will put country over party and represent them."
Cunningham did receive a boost from 10 Democratic House incumbents, who combined to give him $14,000 from their own campaign accounts. Many GOP elected officials gave to Arrington, including committees associated with Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott.
Arrington campaign consultant Michael Mulé noted that Arrington began the fundraising period in the hospital, where she was still recovering from a critical car accident, and did not return to the campaign trail until July 16.
"This significant haul highlights the tremendous support Katie has across the district and the momentum our campaign has going into the final stretch of the campaign," Mulé said.
Arrington has overcome fundraising disadvantages before. Her war chest paled in comparison to Sanford's before she beat him in June, though the incumbent left much of his campaign cash unspent and still has more than $1.3 million sitting in his campaign account.
In all other congressional races in South Carolina, incumbents far outraised their challengers from July through September.
Republican William Timmons has far outraised Democrat Brandon Brown in the Upstate race to replace U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-Spartanburg, who is the state's only other outgoing congressman. With more than $1 million left in his campaign account, Gowdy doled some out to seven other GOP candidates around the country in the third quarter, including Timmons, Arrington, S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson and 13th Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins.
In the 5th Congressional District, once viewed as a more competitive race, Republican U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman has opened up a sizable cash lead over Democratic challenger Archie Parnell — $710,000 to $350,000 — by ramping up fundraising efforts and operating a relatively frugal campaign.
Norman, R-Rock Hill, raised $144,000 to Parnell's $105,000, and both candidates chipped in some of their own personal money to the cause: Norman in the form of a $100,000 loan, and Parnell with a $30,000 donation plus $15,000 loan.
South Carolina Q3 congressional fundraising
|Joe Wilson (i)||2||Republican||$190,065||$442,023||$338,327|
|Jeff Duncan (i)||3||Republican||$193,026||$206,303||$233,735|
|William Timmons||4||Republican||$240,868 (+ $60K loan)||$190,481||$169,868|
|Ralph Norman (i)||5||Republican||$143,949 (+ $100K loan)||$29,578||$710,372|
|Archie Parnell||5||Democratic||$105,419 (incl. $30K self-fund, + $15K loan)||$175,594||$350,111|
|Jim Clyburn (i)||6||Democratic||$300,029||$332,170||$1,034,779|
|Tom Rice (i)||7||Republican||$140,050||$140,388||$1,092,469|