Democratic congressional candidate Lucy Flores reports raising more than $428,000 in mostly small-dollar contributions in April, boosting her candidacy for Nevada’s 4th Congressional District.
The former state Assemblywoman was helped by an fundraising pitch sent last week to supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, who she endorsed in January.
Flores, who previously lagged behind state Sen. Ruben Kihuen and philanthropist Susie Lee in fundraising, said the influx of funds could upend the primary race.
“It’s evened out the playing field for us, and that’s exactly how politics should work,” she said.
Prompted by political journalist Jon Ralston at a candidate forum last week, Flores, Kihuen and Lee all agreed to release their fundraising totals on a weekly basis.
Lee’s campaign reported raising $8,000 in the first two weeks of April, and Kihuen raised $16,000 over the same time period.
The April donations nearly triple what Flores raised over the first three months of 2016, according to her Federal Elections Commission quarterly report.
Flores reported receiving 32,628 contributions in the first two and a half weeks of April, with more than 93 percent of donations under $200.
“It means that the people, that everyday people giving small amounts of money, have given us money to compete with special interests,” she said.
But Kihuen and Lee still have substantial war chests. Lee raised close to $230,000 in the last quarter, with $67,000 in personal loans and campaign expenses she personally paid for. Kihuen raised $191,000, and touts endorsements from several prominent unions and Nevada Sen. Harry Reid.
The primary winner will take on incumbent Rep. Cresent Hardy, widely-viewed as vulnerable in the Democratic-leaning district. Nevada’s primary election is scheduled for June 14.