Nunnelee sees strong quarter for fundraising

February 2, 2010

WASHINGTON — Rep. Travis Childers raised nearly twice as much last year as Republican opponent Alan Nunnelee, but the state senator outpaced the Democrat in campaign contributions at the end of the election cycle.

Childers, who is up for re-election this year, is facing a challenge from Nunnelee, a state senator, and Herman Henry Ross, a Republican and former Eupora mayor, to win the seat to represent Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District.

Childers reported raising $822,780 for the year-end election cycle ending Dec. 31, according to figures released Monday by the Federal Election Commission. Nunnelee reported raising $421,937. Ross has not reported any campaign contributions, according to the FEC.

But during the last quarter of the year, Nunnelee had raised $201,483 compared with Childers’ $109,000.

Nunnelee had a “solid fundraising” period, said David Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. “The question is whether Alan Nunnelee can fend off the Republican primary field.”

National Republicans are already touting Nunnelee’s fourth-quarter collections.

“It’s exceedingly rare that a challenger significantly out raises a Washington incumbent, but that’s what Sen. Nunnelee managed to do,” said Andy Sere, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

National Republicans are hoping to recapture the seat once held by Roger Wicker, now a Mississippi senator.

Meanwhile, Democrats are stepping up efforts to help Childers hold onto the seat.

Childers has done a good job of “branding himself as looking out for his rural Mississippi” district, said Jon Vogel, executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
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