By Greg Margason
The Statehouse File
INDIANAPOLIS – Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Pence has raised three times as much money as his Democratic opponent in the 2012 governor’s race, former Indiana House Speaker John Gregg, according to new campaign finance reports.
Over the first three months of 2012, Pence raised $1.8 million. He closed the period with $4.9 million on hand – money that his campaign said has come from 4,662 individual Hoosiers, with 3,736 of those contributors giving $100 or less.
“More and more Hoosiers continue to be drawn to our positive campaign that is focused on economic growth and solutions,” said said Pence’s campaign manager, Kyle Robertson. “These financial resources and our grassroots organization will enable us to be competitive this election year.”
Meanwhile, Gregg collected pulled in $584,570 during the first quarter of 2012, and had $1.5 million on hand at the end of March.
Gregg’s campaign said those first-quarter donations came from 1,367 Hoosiers, with 1,120 worth $100 or less.
“I have been honored to receive contributions from Hoosiers of all stripes – Democrats, Independents, and even a few Republicans,” Gregg said.
Andrew Downs, director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics, said both candidates have a good fundraising start but that Gregg needs to start catching up soon.
“If Gregg doesn’t pick up fund raising momentum, some donors might be inclined to think the race is over and that could hurt Gregg’s fund raising,” Downs said.
Downs said it will take at least $10 million to run an effective campaign – and the candidates might spend more like $15 million.
“But having the most money is not as important as having enough money,” Downs said. “Good campaigns have a strategy for identifying supporters, gaining more supporters, and getting all of them to vote. Good campaigns just need enough money to execute their plan.”
Greg Margason is a reporter at TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.