WASHINGTON — Incumbent Rep. Joe Heck has reasserted a financial advantage in the race for Congress, out-raising challenger Erin Bilbray toward the end of the year and building a fund exceeding $1 million.
Heck, a Republican, raised $262,582 in the past three months of 2013. He began 2014 with $1,020,000 in his campaign fund, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission late Friday.
Bilbray, a Democratic political trainer, raised $164,461 in the same period and began the election year with a fund of $245,523. Her contributions dropped off from the initial months of her campaign that saw her out-raise Heck by a slight margin.
Bilbray “didn’t get the sustained boost that her initial announcement hoped for,” said Eric Herzik, a political science professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. He added a lift still could come as he expects the candidate to step up fundraising.
As for Heck, “it’s clearly an advantage to have more money, and that multiplies for an incumbent because you already have name recognition and an organization in place,” Herzik said. “But is this gap overwhelming? No.”
In a race being followed closely by national party organizations, the two are competing to represent Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District, a swing district that includes Henderson, Boulder City, Laughlin and unincorporated areas of southern Clark County.
Bilbray campaign manager Bradley Mayer of Las Vegas resigned last month, saying he did not want to run a federal campaign. In his place, Bilbray hired Erica Prosser, a consultant who has worked on campaigns in Texas and Pennsylvania and who has advised House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Rebecca Lambe, a strategist associated with Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., also has taken a role.
In the latest report covering October through December, Bilbray reported receiving 66.5 percent of her contributions from individuals and 33.5 percent from political action committees.
Her major contributors of $5,000 were PACs representing the Teamsters, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the National Association of Letter Carriers, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Emily’s List, which promotes Democratic women.
Heck, who is seeking a third House term, received 62 percent of his contributions from individuals and 38 percent from PACs. Major donors included NV Energy ($6,000) and Boyd Gaming ($5,000).
Among other House candidates from Nevada:
■ Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford in the 4th Congressional District raised $146.500, 76 percent from PACs. He entered the new year with $168,000 cash on hand.
■ Republican Assemblyman Cresent Hardy, running in the 4th District, raised $123,736, with 8 percent from PACs. His cash on hand was $105,662.
■ Republican Niger Innis, who announced his candidacy in the 4th District last month, was not yet required to file a finance report.
■ Democratic Rep. Dina Titus in the 1st Congressional District raised $124,000, with 48 percent from PACs. Her campaign account had $151,500.
■ Republican Rep. Mark Amodei in the 2nd Congressional District raised $72,300, 49 percent from PACs, and counted $231,500 cash on hand.
Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-783-1760. Follow @stetreaultdc on Twitter.