WASHINGTON Republican congressional candidate Bill Dew of Dewbury Homes has lent his campaign $250,000 in his quest to unseat incumbent Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah.
Dew, who has previously said he was willing to spend his own money on the race, proved Tuesday that he really will fund his campaign so far, almost entirely. Based on Federal Election Commission reports filed Tuesday, he raised only $40 for his campaign but still is awash in money when compared to his GOP rivals.
A millionaire former homebuilder who has been a GOP state delegate and precinct chairman, Dew has $203,535 cash on hand, according to his report. He loaned his campaign $250,000 and spent $46,504 on "operating expenditures," according to his statement.
He said that he has not decided on a cap for his personal campaign spending but that he started with $250,000 so that "people would know we are serious about beating Jim Matheson."
Matheson's other Republican challenger, former congressman and perennial candidate Merrill Cook, raised $21,069 since the beginning of 2008 and has $10,131.08 cash on hand, according to the filings.
None of the challengers, however, are close yet to touching Matheson's war chest. The four-term Democrat raised $218,476 for the first quarter and has more than $1 million cash on hand.
The other 2nd District candidates, Libertarian Matthew Arndt, Constitution Party Dennis Ray Emery, and Republicans Donald Ferguson, Kenneth Gray, Chris Jacobs and Brian Jenkins did not meet that $5,000 minimum of contribution that the FEC requires to file a report, although Gray noted he met the minimum after the March 31 deadline, so he will have to file a July 15 report.
The latest FEC reports also show Utah's congressional candidates raising and spending money, particularly in the 3rd Congressional District.
Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, raised $180,760 this quarter, bringing his total contributions to $528,732. Cannon spent $105,358 this quarter and has $127,580 cash on hand.
Cannon has about $199,000 in campaign debt obligations at the end of the fourth quarter. Of the money he raised the past four months, about $152,000 has come from political action committees.
Cannon challenger and Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.'s former chief of staff Jason Chaffetz raised $25,234 this quarter, bringing his total contributions to $90,609 for this election. He spent $25,416 during the first quarter and has $42,859 cash on hand.
David Leavitt, the former Juab County attorney and younger brother of former Utah governor and current Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, estimates that his total raised this quarter is $185,438. He is still calculating the expenses but said his estimated cash on hand was $85,000.
Reports were due by midnight Eastern time on Tuesday.
Constitution Party challenger Jim Noorlander received $550 in contributions, including a $500 from a political action committee, as categorized on the FEC statement. He has raised $3,177 to date and has $698 cash on hand.
Republican Stone Fonua did not raise $5,000 so did not have to file a report, and Democrat Bennion L. Spencer said that although he did not meet the minimum by the deadline this time, he would likely need to file the next time. Calls to Republican challenger Joe Ferguson, an author, were not returned, and no report showed up in the FEC database.
Meanwhile, in the 1st District, Democrat Morgan Bowen, Constitution Party candidate Kirk D. Pearson, and Libertarian Joseph Geddes Buchman, did not raise the $5,000 minimum required to file a report.Incumbent Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, raised $38,650 in the last quarter of 2007 and had $149,892 as of the Dec. 31, 2007, reporting period. Chief of Staff Scott Parker did not have exact figures Tuesday evening but said it would be close to what he had as of that last report.