By Paul DeMarco, former state representative
One way to tell how a candidate is doing is to look at their early financial reports.
The most recent Federal Campaign Commission reports for the upcoming Alabama Senate Republican primary from this past quarter yielded some interesting results. The candidates are all out working hard to raise money this summer so that they can use those dollars for their campaigns, closer to the election. All of them are pleading their case with voters why they would be the best candidate to beat Democrat Senator Doug Jones, yet they have to be focused on fundraising, for now.
The money leader out of the box is currently U.S. Congressman Bradley Byrne, who has $2.4 million in his campaign account after raising over $700,00 this past quarter.
Behind Byrne was former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, who raised $421,000 and has loaned his campaign one million dollars.
Alabama State Representative Arnold Mooney raised $298,000, Secretary of State John Merrill collected $217,000 and businessman Stanley Adair put $134,00 in his campaign account.
What was interesting was what the reports showed for former 2016 Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore. Moore only raised $17,000 this past quarter.
The judge has both name recognition and a base of supporters, to run a statewide campaign, thus he does not have to raise the amount of money that other candidates may need to raise. Yet, it does take a lot of dollars to get a candidate’s message out over the airwaves on both television and radio. In addition, a candidate has to purchase advertisements both in newspapers and social media. Once the nominee gets through the Republican primary, they will have to get back on the fundraising trail, as incumbent Doug Jones already has $4.26 million in his campaign coffers. I predict this will be one of the most expensive campaigns in Alabama state history.
As we move towards the March 3, 2020 Republican primary, we will see which of the candidate’s dollars raised or not, translate into votes at the polls.