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Published July 16 2012

Cramer outraises Gulleson in 2nd-quarter fundraising for US House race

FARGO – After winning a contested primary last month, Republican U.S. House candidate Kevin Cramer had his most successful fundraising period to date, according to reports filed Sunday with the Federal Election Commission.

Cramer’s recent boost in financial backing helped him make up ground against Democrat Pam Gulleson, who continues to have the most money in the bank toward North Dakota’s U.S. House contest this year.

Cramer’s second-quarter campaign finance report shows he raised $276,400 between May 24 and June 30, more than in any other reporting period since his campaign began last fall.

That’s also more than four times the amount in contributions Cramer took in during the first half of the second quarter – $62,000 – when he was still an unendorsed challenger in the House race.

In the June 12 primary, Cramer beat Brian Kalk, the North Dakota Republican Party’s candidate, by nine percentage points.

For the total three-month reporting period ending on June 30, Cramer took in $338,400. Since last fall, Cramer has raised $593,000 toward his fourth bid for Congress.

Cramer reported having $273,500 in cash on hand heading into July and no campaign debt.

Despite Cramer’s surge in income during the past eight weeks, his opponent still leads in total fundraising and available cash on hand.

Gulleson had raised $628,000 by July 1 – including $220,600 between April 1 and June 30 – her latest campaign finance report shows.

Gulleson reported having $378,500 in cash on hand and no debt.

Cramer’s campaign has received less money from special interests thus far than Gulleson, but he received a major uptick in that source of income since securing the GOP endorsement last month.

As of July 1, Cramer had received $32,700 from political action committees – including recent donations of $5,000 each from those PACs tied to House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, the National Republican Congressional Committee and NRCC chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas.

By comparison, PAC donations amount to nearly a third of all of Gulleson's campaign income so far. Gulleson has received $222,500 in PAC money, including $55,000 from the latter half of the second quarter along, FEC records show.

Gulleson’s individual donations tend to be mostly from North Dakota farmers and ranchers, while her special-interest support comes from national and state union groups and key Democratic campaigns.

For instance, her donations include $4,000 in financial support from former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s campaign committee, FEC records show.

Cramer’s campaign was required to also file a separate report that provides a more accurate picture of Cramer’s outside support.

FEC regulations require federal candidates to disclose any bundled contributions raised on their behalf by registered lobbyist groups such as the Club for Growth, an influential conservative super PAC that has endorsed Cramer.

The Club has raised more than $41,000 toward Cramer’s campaign, according to the disclosure filing this week.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541