FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — In the race to replace Congressman Jim Banks, Republican Tim Smith has shot to the top of the fundraising list.
Smith, the longtime business executive who entered the race later than the other candidates, raised $605,344.05 in the most recent report to the Federal Election Commission, which includes donations up to September 30.
With Banks running for Senate, the top Republicans to replace him are expected to wage an expensive advertising battle ahead of the May 2024 primary.
Smith’s total includes his $500,000 loan to his campaign. Candidates have no limits on the amount they can spend on their own race.
Other candidates have also loaned money to their race but not as much.
Smith also spent little of the money he raised, reporting expenditures of $54,305.61, to leave $551,038.44 on hand.
“I loaned $500,000 to my campaign because the people of this district deserve a Congressman who doesn’t owe anybody anything,” Smith said. “I won’t be owned by PACs or special interest groups; as a result, will do what’s right regarding building a wall, eliminating wasteful spending, and ensuring parents– not the government– are in charge of their children’s education. Though I don’t need the job, I want the job so can fight to end wokeness and expand freedom, regardless of the personal cost.”
Former judge Wendy Davis was next on the list with $548,347.14 now raised, $249,741.04 in total spending to leave $298,606.10 on hand. She has loaned herself $73,200.
“I am extremely grateful for the business owners and community members from all across the Third District who have supported and invested in my campaign to bring back a strong America,” Davis said. “As a judge, I’ve seen the results of failed liberal policies in my courtroom, and I’m ready to fight back in Congress to bring back a strong America.”
State Senator Andy Zay showed $461,268.58 raised, with spending of $223,394.15 to leave $237,874.43 on hand, followed by former Congressman Marlin Stutzman with $253,651.75 raised, only $10,134.63 spent, and $243,517.12 on hand.
Both Zay and Stutzman have loaned their campaigns $100,000.
“I am proud of the outpouring of support that I have received from Hoosiers across the 3rd district and the thousands of voters my team and I have conversed with,” Zay said. “It’s time to turn the page on the Biden agenda, work to end inflation, and bring job opportunities back to northeast Indiana.”
Stutzman touted a different set of numbers: results from a mid-September poll paid for by his campaign, which WANE 15 was told was for internal use only.
“I am so appreciative of all of our supporters across the 3rd District whether donors or grassroots supporters who have helped get our campaign off to an incredible start,” he said. “From our campaign kickoff to another strong finance report to our 3-1 lead in our polling numbers. I am excited to lead again in Washington with the support of common sense Hoosiers in NE Indiana.”
The top fundraiser on the Democratic side was Phil Goss, with a background in farming and education, who reported $131,891.85 raised, $82,338.88 spent and $49,552.97 on hand. Goss loaned his camp $124,000.
No other candidate in either party reported more than $15,000 raised.