In the first required filing in the state, gubernatorial candidates seeking to replace Gov. Maggie Hassan revealed their campaign’s finances on Wednesday, with Republican Ted Gatsas of Manchester and Democrat Colin Van Ostern of Concord each surpassing $1 million raised.
Van Ostern raised about $1.08 million and spent about $608,000 for a burn rate of approximately 44 percent.
Gatsas, feeling confident in his war chest, personally turned in his first report showing he raised about $1.04 million with $551,633 cash on hand. His burn rate was approximately 53 percent.
“Ted’s impressive fundraising is another indication of his growing support and shows that he is gaining momentum in the final weeks before the primary,” said campaign finance chairman Andy Crews in a statement. “The race is coming down to a two person race, and Ted continues to show voters why he is the only Republican candidate who has the organization and the ideas needed to finally take back the governorship.”
Gatsas also took advantage of a legal loophole allowing those who are running for office, to accept larger checks before they file their candidacy in June. He announced his candidacy in March, and candidates can take $7,000 from an individual or corporation prior to filing and only $1,000 from that source after filing.
He also personally loaned $75,000 to his campaign last week, putting him past the $1 million mark.
Republican challenger Chris Sununu raised $645,971 but already spent $422,335, which leaves him with about $224,000 in cash on hand with about three weeks left until the primary. He announced his candidacy in September 2015.
Seeing Sununu as his main rival in the primary, Gatsas slammed Sununu on his “fundraising flop.”
“Councilor Sununu’s embarrassing fundraising flop continues to prove that he isn’t working hard enough, his message doesn’t resonate and it’s clear his campaign doesn’t have what it takes to win in November,” said Nate Lamb, Gatsas’s campaign manager, in a statement.
David Abrams, Sununu’s spokesman, took to Twitter in response.
“No surprise @Gatsas4Governor spent his day talking about $. That’s what career pols do best,” he tweeted.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich endorsed and campaigned with Sununu today.
Republican Frank Edelblut only raised about $80,000 from donors, but he has the most cash on hand left, with about $587,000. Out of his personal wealth, he gave his own campaign $750,000.
Jeanie Forrester, the last Republican challenger, raised $237,053, but only spent about $709 since announcing her gubernatorial run.
For the other two Democratic candidates, they trail behind Van Ostern.
Mark Connolly raised $556,099, including $179,000 of his own money, and had $306,000 in the bank. He spent about $250,000.
Steve Marchand, former mayor of Portsmouth, raised only $101,799 and spent more than $80,000 with another $26,250 in “pending expenses,” which would leave him about $5,000 in the red.
Candidates will release their campaign finance filings again on September 7, only five days before their respective primaries.