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Lee, Horsford hold early fundraising leads in congressional races

The Democratic incumbents in two Nevada congressional districts opened up large fundraising leads after Tuesday’s filing deadline, federal election records show.

Rep. Susie Lee of Nevada’s 3rd District raised more than $430,000 in the third quarter of 2019 and ended the month of September with more than $1 million in the bank to stave off what appears to be two serious Republican challengers: Dan Rodimer, a small businessman and former professional wrestler, and former Nevada state Treasurer Dan Schwartz.

Rep. Steven Horsford of the state’s 4th District pulled in just over $300,000 for the quarter, with more than $750,000 left as he waits for a field of seven somewhat lightly funded challengers to narrow in the June primary.

3rd Congressional District

Lee spent about $140,000 of the $430,000 raised between July 1 and Sept. 30. About $300,000 came from individual donations, with the remaining $134,000 coming from political action committees. She has about $4,900 in unpaid debt.

Lee’s district was a top target for both Republicans and Democrats in 2018. Lee ran to replace Jacky Rosen, who successfully ran for the U.S. Senate against Republican Danny Tarkanian in a district that President Donald Trump won by a single percentage point in 2016. She captured a nine-point victory to maintain Democratic control of the seat.

In February, the House GOP’s campaign arm announced the 3rd District would once again be targeted in 2020. Both Rodimer and Schwartz were announced as National Republican Congressional Committee “on the radar” candidates in September.

Rodimer raised just more than $241,000, which includes a $65,000 personal loan to his campaign. He spent a little less than $39,000, leaving him with about $212,000. He also has about $95,000 in debt on the books.

The former World Wrestling Entertainment wrestler announced his candidacy in August, shortly after hiring a consulting firm co-founded by former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. He previously ran for Nevada state Senate in 2018, failing to make it out of the primary.

Rodimer also brings legal baggage, having been accused of assault multiple times in Florida, according to sheriff’s records. He has acknowledged a 2010 incident in which he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery, receiving anger management in exchange for dropped charges.

Several similar incidents documented by the Collier County Sheriff’s department did not lead to charges, the Associated Press reported.

Schwartz entered the race in July. He raised $264,000, most of which came from a personal loan of more than $179,000. He spent about $66,000, leaving him with nearly $198,000.

Schwartz previously ran for governor in 2018, but lost the Republican primary. He also failed to advance in a 2012 bid for the 4th District.

Two other Republicans, Zachary Walker Lieb and Tiger Helgelien, entered the race but have since terminated their campaigns. A Democrat, Richard Craig Hart, does not appear to have filed any financial paperwork.

4th Congressional District

Horsford spent about $135,000 of the $300,000 raised in the third quarter. About $158,000 of his donations came from individuals, with $142,000 coming from PACs.

Like Lee’s district, Horsford’s seat has been coveted by both parties in recent years and was among the first Democratic seats targeted by Republicans in 2020. Horsford previously lost control of the seat in 2014 before winning it back in 2018.

Horsford’s 2020 Republican challengers are: businesswoman Randi Reed, Nye County Commissioner Leo Blundo, former director of nursing for Nevada’s state nursing board Catherine Prato, small businesswoman and former Miss Nevada U.S. Lisa Song Sutton, former Assemblyman Jim Marchant, Navy reservist Charles Navarro, and Air Force veteran and small businessman Sam Peters.

A libertarian, Jonathan Royce Esteban, does not appear to have filed any financial paperwork for the race.

Marchant was part of the NRCC’s first crop of “on the radar” candidates in August. He raised just over $58,000, spending $51,000 of it and ending with about $92,000 left on hand. He also has a little more than $10,000 in unpaid debt.

Sutton raised the most of the challengers for the quarter, pulling in $128,000 — $20,000 of which came from her own pocket. She spent about $29,000, leaving her with $99,000 left.

Peters was the only other challenger to break six figures. He raised about $111,000, which included a personal loan of about $69,000. He spent more than $49,000, and he has $135,000 left.

Navarro loaned himself $75,000 to bring his fundraising total up to $80,000 for the quarter. He spent just over $49,000, and he has $77,000 left in the bank. However, he has amassed $78,500 in unpaid debt.

Reed raised about $48,000, spending nearly $7,000 and leaving her with $41,000.

Blundo pulled in $45,000, spent $17,000 and kept $28,000 in the bank. He has $6,400 in unpaid debt.

Prato, who announced her candidacy after the filing deadline, raised a little less than $30,000 and spent about $1,000 of it.

Contact Rory Appleton at RAppleton@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0276. Follow @RoryDoesPhonics on Twitter.

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