Democratic U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar has been outraised by DFL challenger Don Samuels in the closing stretch before the Aug. 9 primary, yet she has far more cash to spend.
New federal campaign finance records covering the first three weeks of the month show Samuels, a former Minneapolis City Council member, brought in more than $122,000 and has close to $270,000 in spending power left.
"We feel very good about where the race is at," said Joe Radinovich, Samuels' campaign manager. "We haven't seen the level of national interest on either side, at least not to the scope that it existed before in the 2020 race, and I think that's fine."
Omar raised more than $81,000 over that same timeframe. She has nearly $471,000 in cash as she seeks a third term representing the reliably Democratic Fifth Congressional District that includes Minneapolis and eastern Hennepin County.
Samuels also outraised Omar in the financial period covering the start of April to the end of June, but continues to trail the cash advantage Omar's 2020 DFL primary challenger Antone Melton-Meaux had at this same point in the race.
"This is a colossal failure on the part of [Samuels'] candidacy because Rep. Omar's last opponent raised $3.2 million in one quarter and, as everyone knows, ultimately ended up losing by 20 points," Omar campaign senior advisor Connor McNutt said in a statement.
In a pre-primary July 2020 campaign finance filing, Melton-Meaux reported bringing in about $424,000 and had more than $695,000 in cash along with $75,000 in debt from a self loan to the campaign. In the same July 2020 stretch, Omar raised more than $412,000 and reported more than $732,000 in cash.
In this year's Fifth District Republican primary, endorsed candidate Cicely Davis' campaign took in $205,000 but heavy spending left her with only about $101,590 in remaining cash. A report for GOP primary opponent Royce White was not on the Federal Election Commission's website as of early Friday morning.
Nearby in another Twin Cities primary race, longtime Fourth District incumbent DFL Rep. Betty McCollum has a financial advantage over primary challenger Amane Badhasso.
And in the Aug. 9 special election for the open First Congressional District seat in southern Minnesota, Republican Brad Finstad totaled $54,990 in receipts, leaving him with nearly $162,000 in spending power.
DFL contender Jeff Ettinger loaned his campaign $500,000 earlier this month, on top of his earlier contributions of $400,000. The latest report shows he also raised about $45,000 and has a little more than $138,000 in cash.