SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) — State Sen. Joe Leibham has raised $300,000 for his run for the Wisconsin congressional seat now held by retiring Republican Rep. Tom Petri, according to a campaign finance report filed Tuesday.
Leibham, who lives in Sheboygan, is one of four Republicans running for the 6th District seat in east-central Wisconsin. The winner of their Aug. 12 primary will face Democratic Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris in the November general election.
Fundraising can be an indicator of a candidate's support, and first-time candidates who are not well-known often need money to advertise and improve their name recognition throughout their congressional district.
Tuesday was the deadline for filing reports for the quarter that ended June 30 with the Federal Election Commission. Reports for the other Republicans in the race, state Sen. Glenn Grothman, state Rep. Duey Stroebel and Tom Denow, a technical college instructor, were not yet available Tuesday afternoon.
Harris, who does not face a primary, has raised about $37,000, according to his campaign's report.
Leibham spent about $26,000 and finished the quarter with about $280,000 in cash on hand. He loaned his campaign $10,000 of his own money and had debts of about $46,000.
His campaign touted the fact that most of Leibham's individual donations came from 6th District residents.
"My message of creating an economic friendly environment for job creators, reducing and lowering our taxes, and repealing and replacing Obamacare is resonating with the voters of the 6th Congressional District," Leibham said in a statement.
His donations also included $19,500 from political action committees, including the influential Tavern League of Wisconsin.