Ashland County prosecutor Sean Duffy has impressed national Republican campaign officials with his early fundraising in his bid to unseat Rep. Dave Obey.More than "pause," friends.
In his first three months as a candidate, Duffy collected $139,471, according to his campaign committee's Oct. 15 report to the Federal Election Commission. That was just $16,600 less than what Obey, a 40-year incumbent Democrat, took in from July 1 through Sept. 30.
"I would consider that a pretty powerful moral victory," said Tom Erickson, a spokesman for the National Republican Campaign Committee, which works to elect Republicans to the House of Representatives. "That should give Mr. Obey pause."
Obey needs to be scared. This is a serious challenger who's doing the work.
Perhaps more significant than the totals is the fact that all of Duffy's money came from individual contributions, while only $34,325 of Obey's $156,075 came from single donors. The rest came from political action committees.
Duffy's fundraising total was good enough to earn him a spot on the NRCC's "On the Radar" list, the first rung of a three-step hierarchy in the committee's Young Guns program. The program was established to develop promising GOP House candidates. The next level is "Contender" before reaching "Young Gun" status. Fundraising and organization infrastructure are among the key benchmarks in rating the candidates.
I'm sure Mr. Duffy will stay on the radar.