Campaign Financing Tidbits

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BY DAVID LYNN
The ability to raise money is one of the unmistakable hallmarks of a successful politician.

We analyzed the fundraising totals from 2018 and 2019 for current incumbents in the Pennsylvania House. We will be presenting complete datasets for the entire Commonwealth at WinningCampaigns.vote. As a special to the Philadelphia Public Record, we are paying special attention to Philadelphia to review the results of House incumbent fundraising in 2019 and 2020.

Incumbents with large individual contribution totals are said to have good grassroots support, and will most likely be safe from a primary- or general-election challenge. Incumbents with large PAC are said to have good institutional support, and will be able to raise big money quickly. Typically, candidates are elected to office with heavy grassroot support, and remain in office with PAC money. Incumbents that get lazy and rely strictly on PAC contributions (or worse, simply name recognition) do so at their peril.

Of course, more is always better in the realm of fundraising.

The three House incumbents from the Philadelphia area with the largest fundraising haul in 2018 were:

Joseph C. Hohenstein, (D-177) = $316,298.70
Malcolm Kenyatta, (D-181) = $281,554.02
Martina A. White, (R-170) = $210,926.00

The lowest three on the list for 2018 were as follows:

Pamela A. DeLissio, (D-194) = $2,680.00
Angel Cruz, (D-180) = $6,800.00
James R. Roebuck, Jr., (D-188) = $10,720.00

For 2019, the largest fundraisers in the Philadelphia House contingent were:

Martina A. White, (R-170) = $143,590.74
Elizabeth Fiedler, (D-184) = $131,611.00
Jared G. Solomon, (D-202) = $127,263.00

The lowest fundraisers in the 2019 off-year fundraising were:

Pamela A. DeLissio, (D-194) = $650.00
Angel Cruz, (D-180) = $2,000.00
Rosita C. Youngblood, (D-198) = $7,250.00

It should be noted that a campaign finance report for Jim Roebuck (D-188) was unavailable for 2019.

The incumbents with the highest percentage of PAC contributions in their fundraising totals in 2018 were as follows:

Kevin J. Boyle, (D-172) = $100,400.00 (98.98%)
Rosita C. Youngblood, (D-198) = $26,250.00 (94.92%)
James R. Roebuck, Jr., (D-188) = $10,000.00 (93.28%)

The incumbents with the highest percentage of non-PAC contributions in their fundraising totals in 2018 were:

Angel Cruz, (D-180) = $6,200.00 (91.18%)
Danilo Burgos, (D-197) = $21,950.00 (78.53%)
Jared G. Solomon, (D-202) = $78,753.00 (71.46%)

It should be noted that some districts are wealthier than others, and individual contribution totals will vary as a result.

Full datasets of this information may be found at WinningCampaigns.vote.

David Lynn is an independent data analyst living in Philadelphia. His occasional blog may be found at http://winningcampaigns.vote/ “WinningCampaigns.Vote.” He has been known to set pianos on fire while playing “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix on the keyboard.

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