Republican candidate for governor Scott Jensen's fundraising surged in the past couple of months, but he continues to trail Gov. Tim Walz's overall cash haul, new campaign finance reports show.
With less than six weeks until Election Day, the latest reports show most Democrats for statewide office have far more resources stockpiled for the final push than their GOP counterparts.
DFL incumbents Walz, Attorney General Keith Ellison and Secretary of State Steve Simon had substantially more cash. However, Ryan Wilson, the Republican challenging DFL State Auditor Julie Blaha, had more money left as he has been largely self-financing his bid through in-kind donations.
"It doesn't surprise me that the money is flowing in. It doesn't surprise me that this will be close," Walz said of the latest numbers filed with the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board, which capture fundraising through Sept. 20.
The finance reports follow a recent Star Tribune/MPR News/KARE 11 Minnesota Poll showing Walz with a 7-point lead over Jensen.
"Minnesota families are feed [fed] up with crushing inflation, rampant crime, and failing student achievement under Tim Walz's watch," Jensen said in a statement. "Everyday Minnesotans clearly want a change in leadership in our state."
Jensen outraised Walz over the past two months by about $250,000. Meanwhile, Walz spent more than twice what Jensen has doled out over that time and the Democrat's overall fundraising this year and remaining cash is still substantially more than his opponent's.
Walz has around $3.2 million left for the final push, while Jensen has about $860,000 in the bank.
Walz noted that Jensen's campaign received a taxpayer subsidy of nearly $600,000. Walz opted not to cap his campaign spending, so he does not qualify for the subsidy.
"It's a little bit different. I raised mine the old-fashioned way," Walz said.
Independent Hugh McTavish had not yet submitted a September finance report.
Ellison has saved nearly three times as much as GOP challenger Jim Schultz. The two are in a tight race for the state's top legal office. Schultz has outspent Ellison this year, devoting about twice as much to his campaign effort.
But while Ellison has raised nearly $1 million, Schultz's fundraising this year totaled around $770,000.
SECRETARY OF STATE
Simon also has close to $1 million left in the bank, more than eight times as much as Republican Kim Crockett. The two are competing to oversee how elections are run in Minnesota. Simon has only outspent Crockett by around $100,000, leaving him with deep financial reserves.
Blaha has outraised Wilson by roughly $30,000 this year, but Wilson has more money saved. However, the overwhelming bulk of Wilson's funding and expenditures have been in-kind contributions from himself. The two are locked in a fight for the office that reviews local government spending.