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Campaign Cash Snapshot: N.H.'s First Congressional District


The campaign in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District is among the most crowded and most buzzed-about midterm races in the country. With all that attention comes plenty of money, from both inside and outside the state.

(Scroll down for a detailed breakdown of the candidates’ fundraising totals so far.)

Newly transplanted Granite Stater Maura Sullivan, an Iraq War veteran and former Obama administration official, is rapidly outpacing the rest of the field in the fundraising arena. After jumping into the race in October, she managed to raise in ­­­a single quarter almost twice what any of her competitors have in total, even those who’ve been in the race since early last year.


More than three-quarters of Sullivan’s year-end haul came from outside New Hampshire. Her filings show $382,700 in itemized out-of-state contributions – including $131,250 from Massachusetts, $63,150 from New York and $59,450 from California – compared to just $16,898 from inside the state. (But Sullivan’s campaign told WMUR those numbers don’t tell the whole story, as they only reflect contributions of $200 or more, and most of her donations from New Hampshire were small-dollar amounts.) 

When it comes to pulling in the largest sums of money from locals, Republican Eddie Edwards and Democratic Executive Councilor Chris Pappasare the leaders in their respective races. Edwards’ fundraising reports show about $161,545 in itemized in-state contributions, while Pappas’ fundraising report shows about $156,157.

State Sen. Andy Sanborn, a Republican who entered the race last June, saw a significant drop-off in his fundraising during the final months of 2017 – raising just $15,974, down from $95,126 the previous quarter. More than a quarter of the $215,132 Sanborn has raised so far has come from the candidate himself, in the form of loans.

Loans have been a lifeline for two Democratic candidates, as well. Former Strafford County Attorney Lincoln Soldati has a $25,000 loan on his campaign but has raised an additional $35,985 on his own. At the same time, AFL-CIO President Mark MacKenzie has pulled in from donors only a fraction of the $100,000 he lent himself – though he has brought in about $22,500 in PAC contributions.

Democrats Mindi Messmer and Terence O’Rourke appear to be the only candidates whose campaigns are funded entirely from individual donors. While they aren’t raking in anywhere near what their competitors are, neither report receiving any candidate loans or PAC money, at least so far.

Outside of these candidates, Democrat Deaglan McEachern and Republican Mark Hounsell also jumped into race in January but haven’t yet had to report any fundraising numbers. The next fundraising deadline is March 31, but campaign filings aren’t due to the FEC until April 15. 

If you want to dig into the nitty gritty of an individual candidate’s contributions yourself, ProPublica’s FEC Itemizer is a good place to start. You can find all of the filings for the 1st Congressional District candidates right here. (And, if you’re interested, the 2nd Congressional District filings are right here, too.)

Casey McDermott is a senior news editor at New Hampshire Public Radio. Throughout her time as an NHPR reporter and editor, she has worked with colleagues across the newsroom to deepen the station’s accountability coverage, data journalism and audience engagement across platforms.

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