WASHINGTON - While this year's campaign for the 6th Congressional District isn't on track to draw the record fundraising of 2010's contest between incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and DFLer Tarryl Clark, all signs do point to an expensive race.
DFL candidate and hotel owner Jim Graves reports raising $412,000 this past quarter from nearly 1,000 new contributors. But one contributor dwarfed the rest: Graves himself, who loaned his campaign $150,000 this quarter. Last quarter, Graves contributed $100,000 to his campaign, bringing his total investment in unseating Bachmann up to $250,000.
"What is clear is that momentum is building around the Jim Graves campaign," said Graves' spokesman Donald McFarland.
If elected, Graves would be one of the wealthiest members of Congress according to financial disclosure forms he filed with the U.S. House. Bachmann has pointed to Graves' wealth in fundraising emails to supporters.
"We will not be able to match his personal campaign war chest," Bachmann wrote on June 27th, "I need your immediate donation to ensure we have the resources necessary to run a winning campaign."
Still, Bachmann's campaign is hardly hurting for funds. She raised $579,000 last quarter and has $642,000 in the bank.