POLITICO: Stefanik raises $1.5M in second quarter

By Ally Mutnik

July 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — Rep. Elise Stefanik, the newly minted House GOP conference chair, raised nearly $1.5 million in the last three months — her seventh consecutive quarter raising seven figures.

The fourth-term incumbent raised more than $1.2 million for her campaign account from April through June; $116,000 through E-PAC, her leadership PAC created to elect more Republican women; and the rest through her joint fundraising committee.

And as the New York Republican moves into her party’s leadership with a legion of small-dollar donors, she’s increasingly positioned herself as a kingmaker.

In May, she transferred $1 million to the National Republican Congressional Committee and she raised an additional $60,000 for the committee since then. And she’s also brought in over $500,000 this cycle via WinRed for House GOP candidates — and in the process shared 30,000 of her donors with other campaigns.

“I continue to be humbled, grateful and blown away by the unprecedented small-dollar financial support for Team Elise and our mission,” Stefanik said in a statement. “Momentum is on our side to take back the House and fire Nancy Pelosi once and for all.”

Stefanik, who replaced Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as conference chair in May, has been a fundraising star since the first Trump impeachment trial in 2019 when she used her perch on the House Intelligence Committee to fiercely defend the then-president. Her quarterly fundraising ballooned to $3.2 million by the end of that year, and it hasn’t dipped below $1 million since. 

She had $2.1 million in cash on hand for her reelection by the end of June. She garnered 10,000 first-time donors last quarter and had 42,000 donations, with an average donation size of $29. 

E-PAC is the brainchild of Stefanik’s push to elect more GOP women, a cause she embraced after a disastrous 2018 midterm for the party. She recruited female candidates in 2020 and helped fundraise for them.

By 2021, the number of Republican women in the House grew from 13 to 31. And they could be adding another this month in a special runoff election in Texas, where Susan Wright, the widow of the late incumbent, is widely considered to be the front-runner.

Stefanik raised $60,000 for Wright via WinRed ahead of the July 27 race against fellow Republican Jake Ellzey. (She also brought in 50,000 for now-Rep. Julia Letlow, who ran in a March special election to replace her late husband.)

Among other candidates for whom she fundraised: Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.); and Reps. Mike Garcia (R-Calif.), Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa). 

First elected in 2014, Stefanik represents an upstate New York district that shifted quickly to the right in the Trump era. The congresswoman has tied herself closely to the former president; he hosted a fundraiser for her in June that brought in $250,000

New York is losing a congressional seat in the upcoming redistricting, and Democrats will have final say over the maps in the state. But to maximize their gains upstate, it’s possible that they might pack Stefanik’s seat with red voters to make surrounding districts more winnable. 

Should Stefanik finds herself in an even safer district, she would have more funds to redirect toward candidates in swing seats.

You can read the full article at www.politico.com