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Gov. Tim Walz leads GOP challenger Scott Jensen in campaign fundraising

Walz and most other Democrats vying for statewide office outraised their Republican challengers ahead of the pre-primary deadline to report campaign finance figures.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz speaks to the crowd about ending veteran homelessness
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz speaks to the crowd about ending veteran homelessness during a news conference at the Civic Center in Duluth on June 16, 2022.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
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ST. PAUL — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz's reelection campaign this week reported a sizable fundraising edge over Republican Party-endorsed challenger Scott Jensen ahead of the Aug. 9 primary election.

Pre-primary campaign finance reports filed last week and made public on Monday, July 25, show that the Walz campaign brought in $871,872 between June 1 and July 18. Meanwhile, the Jensen campaign raised $552,437 during that period.

The reports also showed that Walz's campaign had a significant advantage in terms of cash-on-hand with $4.98 million available, compared to the Jensen campaign's $580,726.

The presumptive DFL and GOP candidates are set to face primary challenges next month before they're expected to advance to the general election. And their campaigns have begun ramping up efforts to connect with voters on issues like public safety, abortion access, inflation and energy costs months before the November contest.

Scott Jensen
Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen, left, and his running mate Matt Birk, right, share details of their plan for public safety outside the Minnesota Capitol on Thursday, June 9, 2022.
Dana Ferguson / Forum News Service

Both campaigns pointed to their latest fundraising figures as signs of success for their respective campaigns.

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“It’s no surprise that Minnesotans are voting with their money, and we are not only grateful for that support but mindful that we are their hope for true leadership in this state," Jensen said in a news release Tuesday.

Walz-Flanagan Campaign Manager Nichole Johnson in a news release said the latest fundraising numbers show "unprecedented grassroots energy."

“Minnesotans know that Gov. Walz and Lt. Gov. Flanagan will keep fighting to fully fund public schools, promote economic opportunity, and block the Jensen-Birk abortion ban," Johnson said. "Their vision for the future is fueling our campaign as we head toward the fall.”

Third-party gubernatorial candidate Hugh McTavish reported that he had just under $50,000 cash on hand as of July 18, according to his most recent report.

Several additional committees also reported stockpiling funds that could be used in support of or against the gubernatorial candidates or down-ticket candidates ahead of the deadline.

And the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party posted a nearly $2.6 million balance while the Minnesota Republican Party reported it had about $294,000 on hand.

Attorney general's race

Republican Party-endorsed attorney general candidate Jim Schultz outraised his fellow GOP challenger Doug Wardlow ahead of the primary contest and had more than three times as much cash on hand, per the pre-primary reports.

DSC_0265 (4).JPG
Republican Attorney General candidate Jim Schultz on Monday, July 11, 2022, speaks with reporters at the Capitol about his public safety plan.
Dana Ferguson / Forum News Service

Schultz brought in $141,000 between June 1 and July 18 and had about $113,000 available at the end of that period, compared to the roughly $50,000 that Wardlow raised and more than $34,000 he had on hand.

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Keith Ellison.jpg
Keith Ellison answers questions from the press after he kicks off a grass-roots door-knocking event at North Commons Park in Minneapolis, Friday, Aug. 17. Jean Pieri / St. Paul Pioneer Press

By contrast, first-term Attorney General Keith Ellison, a Democrat, reported raising about $149,000 during that period and having about $573,000 available.

Ellison is set to face Democratic challenger Bill Dahn in the primary. Dahn's campaign finance report had not been uploaded to the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board website as of Tuesday at noon.

Secretary of state's race

Steve Simon, Minnesota's 22nd Secretary of State. He was sworn into office on January 5, 2015. (Courtesy of the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State)
Steve Simon, Minnesota's 22nd Secretary of State. He was sworn into office on January 5, 2015. (Courtesy of the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State)

Secretary of State Steve Simon, a Democrat, reported that his campaign brought in $178,000 between June 1 and July 18, and had just short of $679,000 available after the reporting deadline. Simon is set to face Steve Carlson in the DFL primary next month.

Carlson's campaign finance report had not yet been uploaded as of Tuesday at noon.

Kim Crockett
Kim Crockett is a Republican candidate for Minnesota Secretary of State.
Submitted photo

Republican challenger Kim Crockett, meanwhile, reported that her campaign raised $45,000 in that timeframe and had $77,000 on hand. Crockett will square off against Erik van Mechelen in the GOP primary.

Van Mechelen reported no new contributions or expenditures during the reporting period and had $200 on hand, according to his campaign report.

State auditor's race

Republican candidate for state auditor Ryan Wilson outraised incumbent Julie Blaha and reported more cash on hand, according to the pre-primary reports.

Wilson reported that he has about $91,000 available while Blaha had about $32,000 cash on hand. Most of Wilson's available resources came from in-kind contributions like consulting services, advertising and supplies.

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Follow Dana Ferguson on Twitter  @bydanaferguson , call 651-290-0707 or email  dferguson@forumcomm.com.

Dana Ferguson is a Minnesota Capitol Correspondent for Forum News Service. Ferguson has covered state government and political stories since she joined the news service in 2018, reporting on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the divided Statehouse and the 2020 election.
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