Primary Election Finance Report Extravaganza.

Filed in Delaware by on August 14, 2014

The big race this year is of course the race everyone is talking about today. I wonder if some Republicans are crying into their coffees this morning, or adding some Bailey’s to ease the pain. For their easiest path to victory was a Flowers primary win, who would then be beat down by their strongest candidate, Ken Simpler. It does not seem all is going to plan now, as the road to victory for Flowers just got a little more difficult. And that was before we even talk about text messages.

From WDDE:

[I]ncumbent Chip Flowers […] loaned himself about $242,000 this year. “When you look at a candidate like Mr. Flowers who has no support financially from Delawareans, or virtually no support, we have outraised him monumentally in terms of support from Delaware,” said Barney. […]

The treasurer hasn’t held a single fundraiser this year, choosing instead to use his personal bank account as his war chest. He made a similar move during the 2009 campaign when he loaned himself nearly $300,000. Flowers has more than double the amount of cash on hand than Barney, tallying about $156,000 30 days before the primary election. He also has outspent Barney over the past seven months.

Fundraising is far more one-sided for those seeking the Republican nomination for treasurer. Ken Simpler has raised more than $183,000 since the beginning of the year, while also donating $130,000 of his own money. Meanwhile, Sher Valenzuela, who entered the race just before the July deadline, scraped together nearly $5,000 in about a month. Valenzuela had about $16,500 left over from her unsuccessful bid for Lt. Governor in 2012.

So, the only candidate actually raising the majority of their campaign coffers from actual people and not themselves… is Sean Barney? That kinda upends some perceptions. I thought Flowers was the People’s candidate, yet he is self financing like he’s a Ken Simpler or something. Just how rich is Treasurer Flowers anyway, if he has a half million to blow on two campaigns? And while he has the cash on hand advantage right now, will that last? I imagine Flowers will now have to spend heavily to keep the seat. And he will have to dirty Barney. That will cost money. Does he have more to give himself?

Onto the other races.

Another marquee primary is that between Senator Bryan Townsend and New Castle County Councilman David “DeLuca Promised Me” Tackett in the 11th Senate District. Tackett was too busy trying to get some lawyers to turn against Bryan instead of raising money during this last go round, as he only raised $900. But fortunately he has $17,170.74 cash on hand, and he seems to be sitting on that for a classic last minute mail drop. Oh, and you what Tackett used to entice these lawyers into turning against Bryan? The fact that Tackett is against marriage equality. These lawyers looked at him and said “We are for it.” As is every Democrat in good standing. The next time Tackett is up for election to his council seat, he must be thrown out of office as a bigot. Anywho, got that off my chest… Townsend raised $15,205 according to the report, but he also raised an additional $6,000 or so in donations that were waiting for him after he returned from his wedding this past weekend. So look out for an amended report on the part of Townsend. Add in the $6,000 and you have $21,505 raised by Townsend in the last reporting period, leaving him with approximately $14,188.82 cash on hand. So Tackett has the small cash advantage right now, but I think that is beat by Townsend’s ground game.

In the 18th SD primary between Gary Wolfe and Patrick Emory, Emory raised $13,940 and has $7,237.68 cash on hand. Wolfe is far below that, raising $2,850 and having only $399.74 cash on hand.

In the 19th RD primary rematch between Bill Dunn and Kim Williams, Williams has $9,183.31 cash on hand after raising $11,105 this last period. Dunn, who just entered the race on the filing deadline, raised only $1,400 and has $3,052.05 cash on hand.

In the 10th RD primary rematch between Dennis E. Williams and Sean Matthews, Williams has a very formidable war chest, with $50,121.88 cash on hand, after raising $16,200 this last period. Matthews raised a much smaller $4,994, giving him $12,099 cash on hand. There are races where the money gives you a clue as to who will win. Above, I will bet that Kim Williams and Patrick Emory will win just based on money alone. Here, the money being raised by Dennis Williams, as compared to Sean Matthews, tells me he is running scared from his primary and general election performance in 2012, and is raising huge sums to hang onto the seat. And sometimes money doesn’t save you. Sometimes a district just turns against you.

In the 31st RD primary to replace Daryl Scott, we have Sean Lynn raising $9,250 in the last period and he is spending quickly, as he has only $2,312.81 cash on hand. I am sure he is not worried about Ralph Taylor, but rather Sam Chick in the fall. Because Ralph raised $2,860 last period and only has $131.95 cash on hand.

In the primary that isn’t a primary, the State Auditor’s Democratic Primary pits party favorite Brenda Mayrack against Ken Matlusky. What is interesting here is that Ken loaned himself $20,384, spent nearly all of it, and now has $94.77 cash on hand. Brenda raised $15,256.31, and has $92,816.99 cash on hand. What was the point of this race, Ken? Debt accumulation?

Valerie Longhurst in the 15th RD has a primary with James Burton again. She has raised $20,500 and has $49,585 cash on hand. Burton raised $2,720 and has nothing left.

Finally, in the 3rd SD, Senator Marshall raised only $900 last period, but he has $11,076.56 cash on hand. Sherry Dorsey Walker raised $5,708 and has $3,810.88. Sherry better have good name recognition and a good ground game.


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  1. I found it interesting that TROOPAC, the political action committee for Delaware’s state troopers, maxed out to Tackett at $600. David Tackett is the ONLY candidate to whom they maxed out.

    Guess it’s time for me to send Bryan another contribution…

  2. Delaware Dem says:

    That’s easy. Bryan voted to repeal the death penalty in the Senate. Cops want to keep the right of the state to kill people.

  3. …And to keep the names of cops who shoot people out of the paper.

  4. painesme says:

    Combined with bullying a 15 year old with texts, how is anyone on this blog standing behind Chip? Regardless of Carper associations, it’s hard to make a case that he’s a populist or progressive candidate. Would love to hear thoughts from Jason, Geezer, and Puck on all this…

  5. cassandra_m says:

    Senator Marshall loaned himself a huge amount of money when he thought he was running for Mayor, so I imagine that he could loan himself those funds again if he wanted to.

    Sherry Dorsey Walker’s report includes an entry for an Anonymous $200 donor on Silver Lake Road in Dover. Calling all Campaign Finance Report experts — is this kosher? Listing a donor as Anonymous?

  6. Wondered the same thing. It’s not kosher. All contributions over $100 have to have the donor identified.

  7. liberalgeek says:

    Totally not kosher. The donor has to be identified or she has to return the money.

  8. liberalgeek says:

    Also, what did Matlusky spend the money on? I haven’t gotten any lit, haven’t seen signs…

  9. cassandra_m says:

    There’s about 12 grand to Clear Channel (billboards, I guess) and about 4500 to the Democratic State Committee.

    Interesting that he lists all of his contributions to his campaign as direct receipts, rather than loans.

  10. Delaware Dem says:

    Yeah, he runs the risk there of violating campaign finance laws by running over his own personal donation limit to himself.

  11. liberalgeek says:

    Maybe he paid ahead on the billboards with the intent to have all of them go up after the primary. You know, save the money for the general… sigh.

    Also, Ken has promised to keep running for auditor every 4 years until he has to wear diapers to do it. So every person that wants to run for auditor will be able to count on two rounds of fundraising. I guess that’s something.

  12. cassandra_m says:

    I think that if Mayrack can defeat him decisively, that might change that promise. Unless he plans to change parties.

  13. AQC says:

    I’ve gotten some mailings from Matlusky. Sadly, they are as boring as him.

  14. SussexWatcher says:

    Matlusky has a billboard up north of Georgetown. Something about an “honest CPA” with a horribly awkward giant photo of him squinting and trying to smile in a orangeish sweater. It’s sad to see private delusions play out in public.

  15. FreeMarketDemocrat says:

    Here is an interesting “what-if”: if I had my own law firm, I could charge my clients $600/hour for legal work (the names of the clients, the work that I did for them, and the amounts that they paid would all be protected from disclosure), then I would loan that money to my campaign. Voila! Potentially millions in undisclosed campaign donations funneled through my legal practice as a personal loan. I can’t possibly be the first person to think of this.