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Sean Barney surges ahead in fundraising behind out of state cash

Delaware Public Media

Hundreds of thousands of dollars from out of state wallets continue to pour into the Democratic race for Delaware’s lone congressional seat, with Sean Barney collecting most of it.

During the second quarter of 2016, Sean Barney took in more than $126,000 from donors outside the First State – including $1,000 from former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D).

That makes up 76 percent of his contributions totaling $200 or more according to federal records. So far this year, Barney, who is the head of a venture capital firm and former longtime political aide to some of Delaware’s most well known politicians, drew in more than $210,000 in out of state cash.

Former Sec. of Labor Lisa Blunt Rochester and state Sen. Bryan Townsend (D-Newark) also scooped up money from those living elsewhere across the country.

Rochester and Townsend grabbed about $85,000 and $100,000 respectively from residents in other states in 2016.

For this quarter, Barney far and away won the fundraising war, netting about $210,000, compared to Townsend’s $176,000 and Rochester’s $138,000.

It’s the last detailed look the public has at these fundraising totals before the Sept. 13 primary. All three campaigns have been well-financed since officially kicking off last fall, though each sources their money differently:

  • Barney has raised much of his large-dollar donations out of his roughly $442,000 from outside of Delaware.
  • Rochester has loaned herself nearly $179,000, while taking in just under $395,000 in contributions.
  • Townsend – who had the biggest head start of those still in the race – has drummed up about $535,000, with much of his support coming from across the state.

Rochester is outpacing both of them in cash on hand, holding on to a little more than $320,000 as of June 30.
Barney comes in second with about $278,000, while Townsend has banked roughly $247,000.

Three other Democrats vying for the nomination in September – Michael Miller, Scott Walker and Elias Weir – did not file any campaign finance records with the Federal Election Commission before Friday’s deadline.

Republican Hans Reigle collected another $37,000 between April and June, putting his cash on hand total to more than $55,000.

Rose Izzo, a perennial candidate who advertised herself as Reigle’s primary opponent, never filed to run for the seat with state officials.

State Rep. Bryon Short (D-Brandywine Hundred) dropped out of the race in April citing fundraising and demographic challenges.

Federal records show Short repaid a $4,000 loan he made to himself last year, while also handing out nearly $66,000 in contribution refunds to individuals, campaigns and political action committees.

John Carney, who’s running for governor this year, has held Delaware’s sole congressional seat since 2010.

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