Cash flowing to some congressional campaigns

First Posted: 2/10/2014

U.S Rep. Matt Cartwright ended 2013 with more cash in his campaign coffers than fellow Northeast Pennsylvania congressmen Tom Marino and Lou Barletta combined.

The Cartwright for Congress Campaign Committee finished 2013 with $470,970 in the bank. By comparison, the campaign committees for the two Republicans trying to unseat Cartwright in the 17th Congressional District combined began 2014 with just $14,896 in the bank.

Cartwright began the quarter with $389,392.30, raised another $145,246.70, spent $63,668.26 and finished with $470,970.74 cash on hand. It should also be noted that the campaign still has outstanding debt of $390,000, all of which were personal loans Cartwright made to the campaign when he first ran in 2012.

“I’m enormously grateful to all of my friends and humbled by the support they have shown me,” Cartwright said.

Matthew Dietz for Congress, the committee serving Matthew Dietz, an airplane pilot from Wind Gap, began the last quarter of 2013 with $9,417.83 in cash, raised another $6,749.32, spent $3,243.23 and had a balance of $12,923.92 to end the year.

Schuylkill County Coroner David J. Moylan’s “Doc Moylan Goes to Washington Election Committee” began the quarter with $1,159.19, raised $3,800, spent $2,985.76 and closed the quarter with $1,973.43.

Moylan, when informed of the financial reports, inquired about Cartwright’s totals. When told, he quipped “Got him right where we want him.”

Moylan said his first goal is to win the Republican Primary, then to focus his campaign — and fundraising — efforts on unseating Cartwright. “It’s the old recipe for rabbit stew. First you’ve got to catch the rabbit,” Moylan said.

In this case, Dietz is the rabbit. And if Moylan earns the party’s nomination in the May 20 primary election, he said he can begin to focus on the bigger picture of defeating the incumbent in November.

“We’re looking to raise a quarter of a million dollars for the general election,” Moylan said. “I think that will be enough to get our message out.”

Dietz said he started his campaign a year out to try to at least meet the voters because he knew that fundraising against the incumbent would be a tough challenge.

“We never thought we would be able to out-raise Matt Cartwright. That is why I started my campaign last summer, to give me and the campaign time to get out and meet the voters and listen to their thoughts and concerns. This district, like the rest of America, is hurting for jobs and some expendable income. As I go door to door they are looking for the candidate that will listen to their needs and not who can out spend in an election,” he said.

While there are two Republican challengers vying for the right to unseat Cartwright in the November election, neither Barletta, R-Hazleton, nor Marino, R-Lycoming Township, have any challengers from their own party but they do have potential challengers from the Democratic Party.

Marino, who represents the 10th Congressional District, which includes the Abingtons, began the fourth quarter of 2013 with $227,047.83 in the bank. His campaign raised an additional $116,248.66, spent $60,747.24 and had $282.549.25 in its account at the end of the year.

In the past week, two Democrats — Scott Brion, from Liberty, Tioga County, and Adam Rodriguez, from Marshalls Creek, Monroe County — have announced their intentions to run for the seat.

Barletta’s campaign began the quarter with $192,898.07, raised $100,957.69, spent $130,506.96 and had $163,348.80 left. The former Hazleton mayor serves the 11th Congressional District, which spans from Wyoming County, south into portions of Luzerne County and into the Harrisburg area and the Susquehanna Valley.

Civil rights attorney Andrew “Andy” Ostrowski, 48, of Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County, is seeking the Democratic Party nomination to face Barletta in the fall.

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