The top two Democrats in the May 8 gubernatorial recall primary announced Friday that have have raised nearly $1.8 million in their effort to unseat Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk said she has raised $1 million since she announced her candidacy in January. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced his campaign has taken in $750,000 in 25 days between March 30 and April 23.
“I’m so grateful for the broad coalition of support that I have received from people all across Wisconsin," Falk said in a statement. "We have built the big tent of support needed to beat Scott Walker.
"In an extremely short period of time, we were able to bring people together and raise $1 million dollars because they know I am the only candidate with the backing to beat Scott Walker and end his ‘war on women,' " she added.
Barrett’s camp, on the other hand, said 99 percent of their contributions were generated through private donations. The Barrett campaign had roughly $500,000 on hand when he entered the race March 30.
"In a little more than three weeks, thousands of people, the vast majority from Wisconsin, have rallied around Tom Barrett's vision of bringing our state together, focusing on jobs instead of ideology, and ending the political turmoil caused by Scott Walker's partisan warfare," Barrett spokesman Phil Walzak said in a statement.
Two other Democratic candidates, Kathleen Vinehout and Doug LaFollette, hadn’t issued a statement on there campaign’s fundraising efforts. However, Vinehout reported in January that she had just more than $25,000 in her campaign account.
Candidates’ finance reports are due to the Government Accountability Board on Monday.
In the meantime, Gov. Scott Walker and his supporters have continued to march forward with fundraising as well, and the total eclipses all Democratic challengers combined on that front. Walker reported in January that he had raised $12 million, but has been traveling around the country raising funds since.
The Wisconsin Democratic Party on Friday announced that one of the state’s largest business lobbying groups, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, purchased a nearly $1 million ad buy that will air in all major media markets throughout the state on Monday.
The WMC ad doesn’t mention any of Walker’s Democratic challengers, the group’s vice president Jim Buchen told the Associated Press Friday.
“The idea is to talk about the positive benefits of Scott Walker’s accomplishments,” said Buchen in the article. “There have been millions of dollars spent criticizing the governor and misrepresenting his record. We think it’s important for the public to know the truth.”
Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate criticized the ad buy, claiming that Walker gave the group a tax cut, and it’s virtually a quid pro quo exchange for that favor.
The Tea Party Express, arguably the most influential Tea Party organization, is also launching a $100,000 “Money Bomb” campaign to fund a “Tell the Truth” ad campaign in support of Walker. Donations are trickling in from across the country.