WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans pumped more than $90,000 into Markwayne Mullin's campaign to replace Rep. Dan Boren in the U.S. House, but Democrat Rob Wallace banked more money overall between early August and Sept. 30, according to new campaign finance reports.
Both candidates have crossed the $1 million mark for donations to their campaigns for the eastern Oklahoma seat. Wallace, of Muskogee, had $237,710 left in the bank at the end of September, while Mullin, of Westville, had $222,477, reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show.
“Once again our campaign has proven it has what it takes to win,” Wallace said. “I am proud to have raised more money from in-state individuals than my opponent. It shows who has the real grassroots support of the people.”
Mullin's campaign manager, Tim Ross, said, “Congratulations to Rob Wallace on his successes in raising dollars from liberal Democrats, trial lawyers and Obama donors to finance his negative campaign. We're not surprised these individuals support Mr. Wallace, who is the clear choice of anyone who supports Barack Obama's socialist agenda.”
Viewed as a prime pickup opportunity for Republicans, the 2nd District was expected to become a national battleground, with the parties and outside groups blanketing the airwaves.
That kind of campaign hasn't materialized, as the national Democratic Party has left Wallace largely on his own in a rural district that overwhelmingly favors Democrats by registration but is far more conservative than the national party.
Boren, D-Muskogee, is retiring from the seat after eight years in office.
The national Republican Party has not stepped in to buy ads in the race, but about three dozen Republican members of Congress donated around $90,000 to Mullin either from their own campaign funds or from the political action committees they control. The National Republican Congressional Committee also made a direct contribution of $5,000.
Wallace, a former state and federal prosecutor, and Mullin, a plumbing company owner, won runoffs in August to claim their parties' nominations for the open 2nd District seat. Their reports cover the period from Aug. 9 through September.
In that period, Wallace raised $367,026, with $285,176 coming from individuals and $81,850 from political action committees, primarily unions and a congressional group of moderate Democrats known as Blue Dogs.
Mullin raised $322,428, with $179,731 coming from individuals, $132,000 from political action committees, $5,000 from the national Republican Party and nearly $5,300 coming from his own pocket. Mullin also received donations of $5,000 each from the political action committees of Devon Energy and Chesapeake Energy.
1st District report
In the 1st District, where incumbent Rep. John Sullivan was knocked off by Republican challenger Jim Bridenstine in the June primary, Bridenstine collected $271,465, including $107,000 from political action committees for his general election race against Democrat John Olson. Bridenstine, of Tulsa, had $162,224 in the bank at the end of September.
Olson, of Tulsa, raised $137,882 between July 1 and Sept. 30, including $7,500 from political action committees; he had $56,554 left on Oct. 1.
Campaign finance reports also were filed in the three other congressional districts. Candidates who don't raise or spend at least $5,000 are not required to file reports.
• Rep Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne
Contributions collected between July 1 and Sept. 30: $221,722
Cash in Account on Sept. 30: $619,288
• Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore
Contributions collected between July 1 and Sept. 30: $143,222
Cash in Account on Sept. 30: $1,011,791
• Donna Marie Bebo, Democrat, Fletcher
Contributions collected between July 1 and Sept. 30: $15,492
Cash in Account on Sept. 30: $5,798
• Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City
Contributions collected between July 1 and Sept. 30: $193,037
Cash in Account on Sept. 30: $411,723
• Tom Guild, Democrat, Edmond
Contributions collected between July 1 and Sept. 30: $38,605
Cash in Account on Sept. 30: $41,016