WASHINGTON -- The economics of what is expected to be a hard-fought congressional race in Southern Nevada began to take shape Thursday when Rep. Jon Porter and Democratic challenger Robert Daskas announced the results of recent fundraising.
Daskas, a former Clark County deputy district attorney, raised $205,000 in the last three months of 2007, his campaign reported.
Daskas, who began his campaign in September, entered the new year with $310,000 cash on hand.
Porter, the three-term Republican incumbent, raised $276,800 between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, and had $785,000 cash on hand.
During the period, Porter also repaid $154,000 he had loaned from personal funds to his first congressional campaign in 2000, spokesman Matt Leffingwell said.
Both candidates released fundraising summaries in advance of filing detailed reports with the Federal Election Commission later Thursday.
Information was not immediately available for Andrew Martin, an accountant who has filed to run as a Democrat in Congressional District 3, which includes Henderson, Boulder City, the southwest Las Vegas valley and parts of Summerlin.
The Daskas campaign claimed the Democrat was drawing early financial support from political newcomers, and from independents and some Republicans. "Nearly half" of those who donated never had given money before to a federal candidate, the campaign stated, while "close to 20 percent of the contributors from Nevada are Republicans or nonpartisans."
Daskas campaign manager Heather Urban said donor names were checked against public campaign finance databases and public voter registration records.
"We were hearing anecdotes that there were a lot of people who had never given to a campaign before and they were excited about giving to Robert, and that people who were Republican and nonpartisan were excited about Robert," Urban said.
Leffingwell said, "We are very comfortable with our fundraising position." Porter "has proven himself a thoughtful leader and that is reflected in the fundraising."
Porter spent $3 million in 2006 and eked out a 48 percent to 47 percent win over Democrat Tessa Hafen in what has traditionally been a competitive electoral district.