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Trump-Endorsed Candidates Attempting to Primary GOP Incumbents Are Lagging In Fundraising

Trump-Endorsed Candidates Attempting to Primary GOP Incumbents Are Lagging In Fundraising

Donald Trump’s endorsement of specific candidates bent on challenging GOP incumbents who voted for the second impeachment is literally costing them dearly.

Four candidates backed by Trump are currently falling behind in raising money for their campaigns, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) disclosures filed on Friday. And Trump has very personal reasons to have his picks win their races.

Only a handful of Republicans joined Democrats when Congress voted to impeach Trump and then held an unsuccessful vote in the Senate to remove him from office, on a charge he incited insurrectionists to attack the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. Trump has called those Republicans who crossed him “disloyal” or “losers,” and they have faced scorn within their party. Trump’s picks have already caused a ripple effect, and several incumbents have said they will retire or not seek re-election.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

But the four who are struggling to maintain a primary presence are all challenging incumbents who have each wronged the Former Guy, in his opinion, and therefore these races are expected to get the bulk of his attention:

–Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who is widely seen in great peril of losing her seat because of her vote to impeach Trump and her vocal criticism of the former president, raised $1.7 million during the three-month period. Her Trump-endorsed opponent, attorney Harriet Hageman, entered the race in early September and raised about $300,000, or roughly $100,000 a week, which is far lower than Cheney’s fundraising pace;

–Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, a moderate who was one of seven Republicans who voted to convict Trump in the Senate, raised $1.1 million between July and September, more than twice the $466,000 raised by her Republican challenger Kelly Tshibaka, a former state administration commissioner endorsed by Trump. Murkowski ended the fundraising quarter in September with $3.2 million in funds, more than 10 times her opponent’s coffers, and raked in money from corporate-run donor committees, according to her Federal Election Commission. Murkowski also raised more than $75,000 through a joint fundraising effort with several senators endorsed by Trump, including Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who voted against convicting Trump.

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— Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan, who also voted for the second impeachment, is being challenged by a Trump-endorsed state representative, Steve Carra. Upton raised $293,000 between July and September, more than twice the $116,000 raised by Carra;

— Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington State, who has been re-elected five times by the constituents of her district, is being challenged by the Paul Rand-esque Joe Kent, who’s close friends with Rep. Matt Gaetz and Oath Keepers founder Joey Gibson. Herrera Beutler not only voted to impeach Trump, but she also submitted evidence in his Senate trial, as she was in Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s office on January 6th when he called Trump to beg him to call off the crowd of his supporters. Herrera Beutler took in $524,000 during the period, outraising Trump-backed Army veteran Joe Kent, who raised $452,000. Another MAGA challenger, Heidi St. John, has not received an endorsement from either the party or Trump, but has vowed to state in the race. Should she remain and be a spoiler to both Kent and Herrera Beutler, creating a possible clear path for Democratic challenger Brent Hennrich to flip the district back to blue after more than a decade.

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