fundraising

Winners and losers in the General Assembly’s fundraising sweepstakes

The state Capitol was closed to visitors on March 16, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The final fundraising disclosures are in before Thursday’s primary election. We’ve dug through the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance disclosures to aggregate how much each candidate for the House and Senate has raised so far through this election cycle.

House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) leads the way with $359,200, followed by freshman Rep. Bob Freeman (D-Nashville) with $290,700. Sen. Paul Rose (R-Covington) is next on the list with $226,500, though his numbers are a bit inflated by having stood for a special election during the cycle.

On the other end of the spectrum are incumbents who have raised the least. They are Reps. G.A. Hardaway (D-Memphis) with $2,900, Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah) with $3,900, and former House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Franklin) with $6,450.

These totals are for candidates only, meaning they don’t include any of their political action committees.

A couple caveats about the way the Registry keeps these numbers: They include outside donations and direct contributions from the candidates themselves, but not loans. For example, while Rep. Rick Tillis’ challenger Todd Warner in District 92 is listed as raising $2,950, that figure doesn’t include the eye-popping $127,100 he has loaned himself. The figures also don’t include unitemized contributions, which for some candidates can be substantial.

So with all that being said, the full list follows. Challengers and candidates in open races are listed in italics.

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Hagerty to report raising $1.2M in first quarter

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty speaks at Nashville event on Dec. 3, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty will report raising $1.2 million in the first quarter, the campaign announced Monday.

“We’re continuing to share my vision and plan to protect our conservative Tennessee values as we connect with voters across the state,” Hagerty said in a statement.

Here’s the release from the Hagerty campaign:

Nashville, TN — Team Hagerty today announced Bill Hagerty brought in more than $7 million for the campaign in just seven months. He has $5.6 million cash on hand. In the first quarter of 2020, Hagerty further extended his strong momentum of support, raising $1.2 million.

“Team Hagerty continues building momentum every single day, and our family is so grateful for this outpouring of support,” said Bill Hagerty. “We’re continuing to share my vision and plan to protect our conservative Tennessee values as we connect with voters across the state. Together, we will defeat Chuck Schumer’s hand-picked liberal candidate and support President Trump’s America First agenda.”

Speaking about the first quarter, Team Hagerty Finance Chair Steve Smith added, “Tennesseans want their next Senator to stand with President Trump to protect our conservative values. They know that Bill Hagerty has earned the President’s whole-hearted endorsement and that Bill is best positioned to work with our President to deliver for Tennessee. Bill is running a strong grassroots campaign, and the campaign is strongly positioned to defeat Chuck Schumer’s radically liberal candidate in November.”

Hagerty earned President Trump’s “complete and total” endorsement to be Tennessee’s next United States Senator while serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. To learn more about Bill Hagerty, visit  www.teamhagerty.com.

Here’s a look at the fundraising sweepstakes among legislative incumbents

Lawmakers await the start of Gov. Bill Lee’s second State of the State address on Feb. 3, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

New House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) was the top fundraiser among legislative incumbents in 2019 with $349,701, followed by freshman state Rep. Bob Freeman (D-Nashville), who raised $227,881.

On the other end of the spectrum is embattled Rep. David Byrd (R-Waynesboro), whose $1,500 was the least amount raised by an incumbent up for re-election in 2020. Byrd, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by former players when he was  high school basketball coach in the 1980s, appeared to be waffling on an earlier pledge not to run again, but has ultimately said he won’t seek another term.

Other House members who haven’t been very active on the fundraising front are Memphis Democrats G.A. Hardaway ($2,900), John DeBerry ($4,250), and Joe Towns ($5,750). On the Republican side, Reps. Glen Casada (R-Franklin) raised $3,250, Mike Carter of Ooltewah brought in $3,900, and Bruce Griffey of Paris landed just $8,400.

See the full list of fundraising totals after the jump.

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Sethi raises $500,000 in fourth quarter

Republican U.S  Senate candidate Manny Sethi raised $500,000 in the fourth quarter and had about $2 million left on hand. The Sethi camp said about $1.7 million was earmarked for the primary campaign.

Here’s the release from the Sethi campaign:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Dr. Manny Sethi, conservative Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, announced that his campaign raised over $500,000 this past quarter and will show nearly $2 million cash-on-hand in his campaign’s financial disclosure to the Federal Election Commission due January 31. Since June, this campaign has amassed nearly 7,000 donors, from all 95 counties and all 50 states, with a median donation of $25.
“We are so grateful for the outpouring of support across our state. This quarter is yet another sign that Tennesseans want to send a conservative outsider to Washington,” said Dr. Manny Sethi.
“Dr. Manny continues to rack up significant support and is investing in a powerful campaign apparatus. With our organization and the significant war chest we have amassed to spend on the primary, we are in a strong position to win the GOP nomination,” said Chris Devaney, Campaign Chairman of Dr. Manny for U.S. Senate.
Of the nearly $2 million that the campaign has on hand, over $1.7 million is eligible to be used for the August Primary, with under $250,000 donated towards the General Election in November.
The candidate made no personal loans to his campaign in this quarter.

Green looks to raise money off ‘storming’ impeachment hearings he had access to

As a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, U.S. Rep. Mark Green (R-Ashland City) has access to closed-door hearings in the congressional impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. That didn’t stop him from joining 40 Republican colleagues in barging into a secure hearing room where the hearings were taking place on Wednesday.

According to the Washington Post, 13 of those joining the protest were GOP members who, like Green, serve on committees giving them access to the hearings.

But in a fundraising appeal sent out Thursday, Green says “my colleagues and I have been barred from accessing certain testimonies.”

“That’s why yesterday, my colleagues and I stormed the committee rooms where they are conducting the depositions in secret,” he said. “And, unsurprisingly, Shifty Adam Schiff wouldn’t let us in.”

It’s unclear why Green would have been blocked from a hearing he has authorization to attend.

“I need you to join me in standing with President Trump,” Green writes. “Will you chip in $25 today to help me continue to fight for the truth?”

Pence to hold Nashville fundraiser for Trump re-election effort

Vice President Mike Pence is coming to Nashville on Oct. 7 to headline a fundraiser for President Donald Trump’s re-election effort.

The event is co-hosted by RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, RNC Co-Chairman Tommy Hicks Jr., National Finance Chairman Todd Ricketts, and Campaign Manager Brad Parscale.

Attending the dinner costs $1,000, a photo opportunity is $15,000, participating in a round-table is $50,000, and co-chairing the event carries
a $100,000 price tag.

Donors at the top level include truck retrofitter  Tommy Fitzgerald, Pilot Flying J founder Jim Haslam, Takl CEO Willis Johnson, Advance Financial chairman Mike Hodges, and former labor secretary nominee Andrew Puzder.

A location has not yet been announced.

Here’s the invite:

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Sethi, Hagerty ramp up fundraising before quarterly deadline

Vanderbilt surgeon Manny Sethi and former U.S. Ambassador Bill Hagerty have ramped up their fundraising activity in advance of the end of the of the third quarter on Monday.

Sethi held fundraisers in Chattanooga, Nashville, and Memphis. Event
hosts include Fred Decosimo, the former campaign treasurer for Bill Lee’s gubernatorial campaign, former HCA Tristar President Larry Kloess, healthcare entrepreneur Bill West, developer Jim Sattler, and wealth management adviser Frank Bumstead.

Hagerty has events being hosted at the Nashville homes of Barry Stowe, the former CEO of Prudential’s North American operations, state Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bobby Rolfe, lobbyist Dale Allen, and Blair Wilson, the brother of state Comptroller Justin Wilson. Two of the events will be held after the current quarter ends, but all checks are supposed to be received by Sept. 30.

Here is the Hagerty invite (home addresses have been deleted):

Ambassador Bill Hagerty has announced his bid for U.S. Senate and we want you to join Team Hagerty. Please see below for a personal invitation to join Bill and be part of his campaign launch. There are four opportunities to attend a kick-off reception over the next few weeks. Details are below or click here for an invitation. Please reply and let us know of your support. – Kim

Kim Kaegi

Please select a date and location most convenient for you.
* All events 5:30 – 7:00 pm *
Limited capacity for each reception to allow for more one-on-one engagement.

Thursday, September 26
Sherri & Barry Stowe

Monday, September 30
Kathy & Bobby Rolfe

Thursday, October 3
Linde & Blair Wilson

Wednesday, October 9
Julie & Dale Allen

$11,200 ~ Sponsor
$5,600 ~ Host
$2,800 ~ Attend

To make your reservation & contribute: TeamHagerty/donate
All contributions encouraged to be made prior to 9.30.19

Here are the invites for the Sethi events:

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Bredesen, Alabama Sen. Doug Jones talk bipartisanship at Democratic fundraiser; $450K collected

In Saturday night speeches to the Tennessee Democratic Party’s Three Star Dinner, Alabama Sen. Doug Jones and former Gov. Phil Bredesen struck similar themes, saying a willingness to work with Republicans is the way to change Democrats’ political fortunes in the Volunteer state. Party officials say about $450,000 was raised at the event in Lebanon.

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Sundquist backs Jimmy Matlock in 2nd Congressional District Republican primary

Former Gov. Don Sundquist, who earlier endorsed Randy Boyd in the governor’s race and Marsha Blackburn for U.S. Senate, is now backing state Rep. Jimmy Matlock in the 2nd Congressional District Republican primary, reports Tennessee Star.

The Star posts a copy of a fundraiser for Matlock, to be held in Knoxville on June 18, with outgoing Republican U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr. and Sundquist listed as special guests supporting the state representative – along with their wives. Suggested minimum contribution is $500 per person.

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TN State Museum offering commemorative stones – at $1,000 to $25,000 — in fundraising effort

Commemorative stones are being sold this month for placement on a pathway leading to the new Tennessee State Museum at $1,000 to $25,000 each — the bigger the donation, the bigger the stone. The buyer/donor can choose a name with an inscription of up to 20 characters.

An AP brief on the move says almost $30 million has been raised for the new museum so far. The goal is $40 million in private donations to go with $120 million in state funding for the new museum, scheduled to open in October.

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