Allen West raises $1.8 million, spends $1.2 million in 1st quarterby George Bennett | April 16th, 2012
West collected more than $1.8 million during the first quarter of 2012, including $857,266 from donors who gave less than $200, according to a report posted Sunday. But the freshman tea party celebrity also spent more than $1.2 million in the quarter, most of it on his direct-mail money machine.
West, who has raised nearly $7.8 million overall, ended the quarter with $3.3 million in cash on hand.
To provide some perspective, the $1.8 million West collected between Jan. 1 and March 31 for his House race tops the $1.6 million that Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson raised over the same period for his statewide reelection bid.
And it wasn’t even a particularly boffo quarter for West, who raised $1.75 million in the previous three-month period and $1.96 million in the quarter before that.
West’s GOP primary foe, Martin County Sheriff Robert Crowder, raised $26,800 in his first month as a candidate.
West spent more than $900,000 in the quarter on direct-mail fundraising, including $207,759 to rent lists of potential donors for future fundraising appeals. This mail “prospecting” expenditure alone is more than West’s leading Democratic rival, Patrick Murphy, spent on all his campaign activities during the quarter.
Murphy, one of the best-financed Democratic challengers in the nation, raised $350,556 between Jan. 1 and March 31 and spent $205,254. He ended the quarter with a little more than $1 million in cash on hand.
Murphy out-raised West during the quarter in at least one category: money from PACs and other political committee. Murphy collected $62,000 from committees, including $2,000 apiece from the reelection campaigns of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. West garnered $59,685 from committees during the quarter.
Both West and Murphy were running in Palm Beach-Broward congressional District 22, but jumped to newly drawn Palm Beach-Treasure Coast District 18 this year.