Tuesday’s 2010 campaign finance reports demonstrate that some state legislative races were spendy affairs. While direct spending by campaigns reflects only a portion of the total spent in an election year, campaign figures are a leading indicator of political competition. The following includes some of the Legislature’s marquee races. (Note: Amount of money raised includes public subsidies).
Sen. Carla Nelson, DFL-Rochester raised $67,000 and spent $64,000 in her successful bid to unseat DFL incumbent Ann Lynch. She transferred $14,000 from the campaign apparatus that was left over from her time in the state House.
Lynch, who served one term in the Senate, raised and spent $56,000. She made $7,000 in non-campaign expenditures, which was afforded by the $11,600 she had in the bank at the start of the year.
Sen. Ted Lillie, R-Lake Elmo, raised $47,800 and spent $34,000. He made $9,000 in non-campaign disbursements, and finished the year with $4,000 in the bank.
His opponent, former Sen. Kathy Saltzman, DFL-Woodbury, raised $52,800 on top of the $18,000 in cash her campaign had at the beginning of the year. She spent $60,000 for the year.
Rep. Mike LeMieur, R-Little Falls, raised $29,400 for his successful House bid. He received $500 each from Freedom Club of Minnesota State PAC and the Associated Builders and Contractors PAC. He ended the year with just $185 in cash.
Former Rep. Al Doty, DFL-Royalton, who lost his bid for third term, raised $23,000 after beginning the year with $20,000. He spent $31,000 and ended the year with $11,700 in the bank.
Rep. Kirk Stensrud, R-Eden Prairie, who had no cash at the beginning of the year, raised $39,000. He spent $37,000 in his successful bid to oust DFLer Maria Ruud, winning by 107 votes, or less than 1 percent.
Ruud, of Minnetonka, started the year with $18,000 in the bank and raised $26,800. She spent $31,800 on her re-election effort.
Rep. Bruce Vogel, R-Willmar, raised and spent $20,000 in his upset victory over veteran DFL Rep. Al Juhnke. Juhnke’s report is not yet available online.
Rep. Carolyn McElfatrick, R-Grand Rapids, in 2010 outraised former Ways and Means Committee Chairman Loren Solberg en route to pulling off a stunning defeat of the 14-term incumbent. She raised and spent $21,000.
Solberg had $13,000 in the bank at the start of the year and raised $19,000. He spent $25,400 and had $4,300 left in the bank at year end.
Rep. Pat Mazarol, R-Bloomington, raised $46,000, including $5,000 that he lent his campaign in July. He spent $44,400 and had $2,500 left over. Mazorol received $500 each from Hospitality Minnesota and Freedom Club State PAC.
Former DFL Rep. Paul Rosenthal, who served one term, started the year with $8,000 and raised $41,000. He spent $45,000. AFSCME Council 5, IBEW State Council and the Minnesota Realtors PAC each gave him $500.
Sen. Pam Wolf, R-Spring Lake Park, raised $25,000 on top of the $2,000 in cash she had at the beginning of 2010. Political action committees largely ignored her bid to unseat veteran Sen. Don Betzold, DFL-Fridley. Her only PAC contribution was $500 from Minnesotans for Racino.
She got a hand from former neighboring 2008 House candidates Lori Grivna and Dave Balcom, who transferred more than $2,000 from their campaigns to hers. Ultimately she spent $20,500 on her campaign.
Betzold didn’t go down for lack of spending on the race. His campaign spent $47,000. He started the year with a $21,000 war chest and raised $31,000 for the year, including $10,000 in PAC contributions.