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Campaign Cash Snapshot: N.H.'s 1st Congressional District


Democrat Maura Sullivan continues to blitz past all other candidates running in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional district when it comes to fundraising — and, as was the case during her inaugural months in the race, most of her campaign money continues to come from outside New Hampshire.

(Scroll down for an interactive graphic on the latest fundraising numbers.)

An Iraq veteran and former Obama administration official, Sullivan considered running in other districts before moving to New Hampshire last summer, as NHPR previously reported.

After launching her campaign for the 1st District in October, she proceeded to raise roughly $435,000 in her first quarter, far more than any of her competitors.

Sullivan kept up a similar pace during the first three months of 2018: She raised more than $480,000, with more than 90 percent coming from out-of-state donors, according to FEC records. But Sullivan’s non-New Hampshire donor list includes at least one name that should be familiar to plenty of local football fans: Jonathan Kraft, president of the New England Patriots.  

New Hampshire donors make up a much smaller fraction of Sullivan’s quarterly campaign haul, about $10,625 in itemized donations — but those contributions are spread out among more than 160 people. Many of them gave $100 or less, and some gave as little as $2 each. (It is possible that the campaign received additional donations from New Hampshire donors that fell under the reporting threshold required to itemize.)

In addition to these contributions from individual donors, Sullivan brought in about $10,750 from PACs during the most recent fundraising quarter, including: $5,000 from EMILY's List, $2,500 from the Jobs Opportunities & Education PAC, $1,000 from Time To Unite Lead And Serve With Integrity (which is connected to Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard) and $1,000 from Perimeter PAC (which is connected to Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth). 

Another newly announced Democratic candidate, Portsmouth businessman Deaglan McEachern, got most of his money from out-of-state contributors during his initial months in the race. Of the roughly $135,000 he garnered this fundraising quarter, about $92,000 came from people outside New Hampshire. 

Executive Councilor Chris Pappas had the second-best fundraising quarter in the entire field, bringing in about $206,000 dollars – more than half of which came from local donors. 

While Pappas has sworn off accepting corporate PAC money during his campaign, he raised more money from PACs and other political committees than any other candidate this quarter — about $17,050 total. At least $10,000 of that came from committees linked to other local and national candidates, including: state Sens. Donna Soucy and Kevin Cavanaugh, Maryland Congressman John Sarbanes and Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline.

Pappas also received about $3,000 from a now-dissolved exploratory committee for Katrina Swett (a local human rights activist and the wife of former Congressman Dick Swett), $2,500 from the American Council of Engineering Companies and $1,000 apiece from the Granite State Teamsters and two local IBEW chapters

Former AFL-CIO President and State Rep. Mark MacKenzie owes a considerable share of his fundraising to PACs, as well. He raised about $15,000 from labor-affiliated PACs during the most recent fundraising quarter, compared to about $12,023 from individual donors. But his largest share of campaign funding comes from his own pocket, in the form of a $100,000 loan.

Newly announced Democratic candidate Levi Sanders, son of the Vermont senator and former presidential hopeful, generated plenty of buzz when he joined the race — but so far, that hasn’t seemed to translate into a wave of enthusiasm among campaign donors. He raised about $11,486 during his first month in the race, and none of his itemized contributions came from New Hampshire residents

On the Republican side, former liquor enforcement chief Eddie Edwards and State Sen. Andy Sanborn each brought in about $100,000 from campaign donors this quarter. But the single biggest donor to Sanborn’s campaign — or any candidate running in the First District, for that matter — is Sanborn himself. 

The Bedford Republican loaned his campaign $250,000 during the most recent fundraising quarter. In total, Sanborn has loaned more than $311,000 to his campaign since launching his Congressional bid last June. 

While those contributions undoubtedly helped to keep his campaign account full — with about $495,000 cash on hand as of the end of March — Sanborn continues to carry the most campaign debt out of any candidate in the field, more than $340,000 total.

For more details on the finances of all of the 1st District campaigns, check out the interactive graphics below. You can also dig into each individual candidate's filings by browsing the following links:

Casey McDermott is an editor and reporter at New Hampshire Public Radio, where she works with colleagues across the newsroom to deepen the station’s accountability coverage, data journalism and audience engagement across platforms.

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