WASHINGTON — Tarryl Clark, who last week won the DFL’s endorsement in the race to unseat Rep. Michele Bachmann, today became the first Minnesota House challenger to report more than $1 million raised this cycle. Her campaign said it has raised more than a half-million dollars in the first quarter of 2010.
Clark’s $505,000 this past quarter was a substantial increase from the $294,000 she raised in the last quarter of 2009.
“The election year has only just begun, and already tens of thousands of people have committed to Tarryl’s campaign with their donations or with their volunteer hours,” Clark campaign manager Zach Rodvold said in a statement. “True grassroots people-power is how we will continue to set such a strong pace, and why we will win.
Emily Cadei, an election analyst with the CQ-Roll Call Group, said $505,000 in the first quarter is a “big number” and means Clark is “likely to be one of the top Democratic challengers in fundraising this quarter.”
“The real key, however, will be seeing how much cash on hand she has,” Cadei said. “She is going to need a lot of cash to get by a late contested primary and then compete with Bachmann, who is not going to have a problem raising money.”
Fellow Democratic challenger Maureen Reed hasn’t yet released her fundraising report, though first-quarter reports aren’t due until April 15. The fundraising race was tight through the end of 2009 — Clark had outraised Reed by about $25,000, though Reed held a slight lead in cash on hand.
“We are still completing the accounting with our numbers for last quarter and will be releasing them before they’re due on the 15th,” said Reed spokesman Trevor Willett. “I can also say that we feel confident that we will have the resources to mount a strong primary campaign that not only ensures we are the Democratic candidate, but puts us in great position to beat Bachmann in November.”
Bachmann campaign manager Gina Countryman said the congresswoman’s campaign will be releasing its numbers next week. Bachmann had raised $1.5 million and had more than $1 million cash on hand at the end of 2009.
“We’re confident we’ll have the resources necessary to win in November,” Countryman said.
This post has been updated. Last update: 2:09 p.m.