Candidates Get Boost From PACs: Charting Primary Spending In House Races

Sep 5, 2014

Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR

Five days before the primary, more than $3.1 million has been spent on behalf of Republican candidates seeking to advance to the general election against New Hampshire’s Congressional incumbents.

In District 2, a seat held by Democratic Rep. Anne Kuster, Gary Lambert has outspent state Rep. Marilinda Garcia by a slight margin, $277,000 to $239,860, according to the most recent filings with the Federal Election Commission.

But, thanks to a conservative political action committee, Garcia enjoys a considerable advantage on the airwaves. The Club for Growth has dropped more than $480,000 on a television ad calling Lambert “laughably liberal.” For his part, Lambert has spent about $110,000 on ads that attack Garcia for her positions on immigration and health care.

Whoever wins the primary will enter the general at a serious cash disadvantage: Kuster has $1.6 million on hand, compared to Lambert with $211,000 and Garcia with $118,000.

In District 1, also held by a Democrat, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, former District 1 congressman Frank Guinta has outspent Dan Innis, the former dean of the Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire, $340,000 to $272,000.

But Innis has received about $832,000 in backing from two PACS, American Unity and New Hampshire Priorities, both of which have bankrolled television ads supporting Innis.

Shea-Porter will enter the general election with $654,000 cash on hand. On their most recent FEC filings, Innis reported having $67,000 on hand and Guinta had $188,000.

Two candidates, Brendan Kelly in District 1 and former state representative Jim Lawrence in District 2, have not reported their receipts and expenditures with the Federal Election Commission.