Out-of-State Donors Fund Daines’ Senate Campaign

About $1.6 million of the $5 million Daines had raised by the end of June came from individual Montanans

By Dillon Tabish

HELENA — An analysis of Rep. Steve Daines’ campaign-finance reports finds the Republican Senate candidate has received contributions from donors in 47 states, and only about a third of the contributions come from Montanans.

About $1.6 million of the $5 million Daines had raised by the end of June came from individual Montanans, Lee Newspapers of Montana reported in a story published Thursday.

The rest mostly came from out-of-state individuals and political-action committees.

Relatively low in-state contributions are not unusual in expensive campaigns for federal office in states with small populations, such as Montana.

Daines is widely seen as the front-runner in November’s election after Sen. John Walsh dropped out of the race and was replaced by Democratic state Rep. Amanda Curtis of Butte. That status may actually be hampering Daines’ out-of-state contributions, Montana State University political scientist David Parker said.

“The more competitive the race, the more out-of-state contributions there are,” he said.

Former U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg and U.S. Sen. Jon Tester each raised only about 20 percent of their campaign funds from donors inside the state during their 2012 Senate race, Parker said.

Daines’ largest out-of-state contributions from individuals came from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California and Texas. Daines also has received $645,000 from joint fundraising committees.

Curtis held her first fundraiser Tuesday in Bozeman. She said her campaign up to that point had raised about $80,000.

Daines’ campaign had spent $3.3 million by the end of June, leaving about $1.7 million in his campaign account.

Libertarian Roger Roots also is competing for the seat that Walsh was appointed to when Max Baucus resigned from the Senate to become ambassador to China in February.

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