Bredesen loans campaign $1.4M; Blackburn still far ahead in cash (fundraising near tie)

Republican Marsha Blackburn edged Democrat Phil Bredesen in collecting contributions for their U.S. Senate campaigns during the first quarter of 2018 and has more than a $3-to-$1 lead in cash on hand thanks to past fundraising as a member of the U.S. House, according to information provided by the candidates on Monday. Bredesen, however, had about a $1 million lead in early expenditures.

The actual reports, due Monday, have not been posted on the Federal Election Commission website – and may not be for several days since they are filed first with the U.S. Senate clerk’s office and processed there before being sent to the FEC. (U.S. House campaigns file directly with the FEC.)

But both campaigns issued press releases (see below) and, in response to a request from the Tennessee Journal, Blackburn’s campaign provided a copy of a summary page from her report and Bredesen’s campaign provided a complete copy for review.

Based on that information, here are bottom line figures from the two campaigns:

 Net contributions received: Blackburn $1,870,588; Bredesen $1,801,781.

First quarter spending: Blackburn $737,886; Bredesen $1,740,547.

Closing balance as of March 31: Blackburn $5,906,913; Bredesen $1,740,547.

Bredesen’s full disclosure shows he loaned his campaign $1.4 million in the first quarter – and has set up a line of credit available for further self-financing. Blackburn’s press release says she raised “more than $2 million” while the actual summary page shows $1.87 million.

Blackburn’s campaign tells The Tennessean the difference is that, in the press release, the campaign includes nearly $52,000 that she transferred from the Blackburn Victory Fund, a committee she previously set up related for her House seat.

The campaign also counted $13,800 in interest and another $64,500 in “offsets to operating expenditures” as part of its latest fundraising total.

According to the Federal Election Commission, such offsets are “not considered contributions.”

Note: The last three paragraphs replace part of the original post saying the Blackburn campaign had not responded to a request for clarification of the apparent difference.


Press release from Marsha Blackburn campaign

BRENTWOOD, TN – The Marsha for Senate campaign today announced that it raised more than $2 million in the first quarter of 2018, outraising Phil Bredesen’s campaign. Marsha for Senate has nearly $6 million cash on hand, ensuring Blackburn remains well-positioned to defeat Phil Bredesen.

“I am grateful for the strong grassroots support we have received from Tennesseans across the state,” said Marsha Blackburn. “These resources are vital as we work to keep Tennessee red and defeat Phil Bredesen in November.  I will continue to listen to Tennesseans and share my ideas on how we can get the United States Senate back to work and pass President Trump’s agenda.”


Total Q1 Individual Donors: 6,900

Average Individual Q1 Donation: $166.78

Press release from Phil Bredesen campaign

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Bredesen for Senate has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission reporting the campaign collected more than $3.2 million during the period beginning January 1 and ending March 31.

Total contributions exceeded $1.8 million during the first quarter. Additionally, candidate Phil Bredesen personally loaned or guaranteed loans to the campaign totaling $1.4 million in order to jumpstart TV and digital advertising in early March.

Not including loans, the Bredesen campaign on average raised more than $20,000 per day during the first quarter — on par with daily averages reported by other U.S. Senate campaigns.

“After launching in early December with no fundraising apparatus in place, the campaign is now fully operational at every level,” said April Orange, Finance Director for Bredesen for Senate. “We will continue accelerating fundraising efforts to amass the resources required to win in November.”

To date, Bredesen for Senate has collected a total of more than $3.7 million. The next FEC report will be filed July 15, for the period ending June 30.

3 Responses to Bredesen loans campaign $1.4M; Blackburn still far ahead in cash (fundraising near tie)

  • Avatar
    Landis Tuner JD says:

    I was Bredesen’s county campaign manager when he ran for governor. I met with him several times, sometimes one on one. But if I saw him today, he wouldn’t know who I was or where I was from. He is not a normal politician. Totally unlike Bob Clement who remembers everybody, whether friend or foe. But I am sure of one thing, if elected Phil will be the smartest senator there.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson, BBA, MBA, JD says:

      Yea, but Landis, solving quadratic equations faster than anyone else in any given room is swell, but how will he vote? Will he vote to give control of the Senate to charming Chuck Schumer? Will he join his fellow Democrats in blocking Trump appointees who were, you know, too Christian or those who didn’t adhere to the far left world view that is so dominant in the Democratic Party?

      I fear the answer is a resounding “YES” so after Marsha’s well financed campaign gets through with him the voters of Tennessee will say, “Sorry Phil, but ‘NO.'”

  • Avatar
    Tommy Ray McAnally says:

    Blackburn couldn’t lead a Christmas Parade.

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