Brad Ashford

Democratic Rep. Brad Ashford

Rep. Brad Ashford, D-Neb., continues to pick up steam in his fundraising, according to campaign aides.

Federal Election Commission reports covering the last three months of 2015 are due this weekend.

The Omaha congressman will disclose that his campaign raised $300,817 during that time period and now has $679,240 cash on hand, according to the aides.

Those contributions include $158,167 from individuals and $142,650 from political action committees, the aides said.

Ashford has received some criticism from Democratic Party insiders over lackluster fundraising results in the past, but he is starting to approach the pace of former GOP Rep. Lee Terry, whom Ashford defeated in 2014. Terry raised $338,000 in the final quarter of 2013 and finished it with $818,000 cash on hand.

Ashford campaign aide Mary Barrett said in a statement that the latest fundraising report reflects well on Ashford’s job performance.

“Brad has strong bipartisan support from community and business leaders, and it is clear that people appreciate his serious approach to his work in Congress,” Barrett said.

Ashford faces two main GOP challengers: retired Brig. Gen. Don Bacon and Chip Maxwell, a former state senator and Douglas County Board member.

The Bacon campaign has yet to release numbers for the fourth quarter of 2015 but will do so soon. The Bacon campaign had $152,000 cash on hand at the end of the prior reporting period.

The report for Maxwell available on the FEC website included some irregularities that Maxwell attributed to mistakes by the agency and that he said he’s trying to straighten out.

Still, he said, the report on the site correctly shows that he raised about $20,000 — including a $10,000 personal loan to the campaign — and spent $28,000 in the last quarter.

For some reason, he said, it does not reflect that he started the period with more than $10,000 cash on hand, so it shows the campaign in the red. In fact, he said, the campaign has more than $2,000 cash on hand at this point.

Maxwell has been touting a poll released this month that showed him with a sizable lead over Bacon — 31 percent to 11 percent — among likely Republican primary voters in the 2nd District. But that same poll also showed that nearly six out of ten people surveyed were undecided.

Winning over almost two-thirds of the electorate requires a campaign, which takes money. Bacon’s earlier fundraising suggests that he will enter 2016 with far more resources than Maxwell, who acknowledged that he has a long way to go.

“It’s a foundation on which to build,” Maxwell said of his finances. “We’ve not arrived at the mountaintop yet.”

Bacon spokesman Mark Dreiling noted that many other Nebraska candidates have won races even though they started their races with little name recognition and low polling numbers. Specifically, he cited Republican Ben Sasse, who won his Senate seat in 2014.

“I don’t think that early polls are necessarily indicative of where things go,” Dreiling said.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Recommended for you

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.