The 3rd District is going to probably be the most competitive House race in Louisiana. As the fundraising numbers come out, at least four candidates have proven that they have very deep bank accounts.
Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle leads the pack by raising $362,704. Angelle is reporting $601,520 cash-on-hand. Angelle campaign manager Ryan Cross points out that he only got in the race a month ago in a statement to The Hayride. Angelle is also building off a high name ID from his recent run for governor.
In second place, retired Army Lt. Colonel Grey Ellison raised $207,015 according to the FEC. Ellison also wrote himself a check for $55,000 and has $231,166 cash on hand. From a quick scan of his filing Ellison’s donor base appears to be a mix of national and in district. It’s largely a high dollar donor base as well.
In third place is Gus Rantz. He raised $155,842 according to his FEC report. Rantz has also loaned himself $250,000 and has a cash on hand total of $405,847. A quick scan of Rantz’s donor list shows that he has spent much of the quarter banking the high dollar donors with a lot of them giving 4 digits.
Fourth place is Erick Knezek who is reporting $101,580 raised according to the FEC. Knezek also wrote himself a check for $450,700 and has $515,477 cash on hand. Knezek also spent the most so far spending $36,082. Knezek is also taking the time to bank big donors, mostly in state but a few out of state ones as well.
Some of the other candidates are also reporting numbers in the race.
Former State Rep Brett Geymann raised $52,100 according to his FEC report. He has a little over $40,000 cash on hand. Geymann though seems to be cashing in from his former colleagues. Lance Harris, Jim Morris, Jonathan Perry, and Jay Morris have all contributed to Geymann’s bid.
Grover Rees has raised $46,490 according to the FEC. He also has wrote himself a check for $74,860 and has a little over $120,000 cash on hand. Rees’s fundraising is from all over the country and among the contributors is conservative activist and Leadership Institute President Morton Blackwell.
From this filing, at least four candidates have proven they can buy their way into the race. Meanwhile, Grover Rees has a national base he can tap in order to try and buy himself a base. For Brett Geymann though, this has to be a disappointing quarter given his stature as a former state legislator and his high profile fights on common core and other issues.
UPDATED: 4/18/2016 4:09 PM: Angelle’s numbers are out. In addition to raising over $362,000, Angelle wrote himself a check for $250,000. Surprisingly, Angelle’s donors are largely in district and not statewide. It remains to be seen if he can tap statewide donors later on down the road. Angelle is already cashing in on PAC money, mostly from PSC regulated entities such as the river pilots and utilities, and Acadian Ambulance.
Angelle has spent $11,184.05 so far. Mostly in consultant fees to Fletcher Consulting and on site events.