(Montgomery Advertiser) –– Democratic U.S. Sen. Doug Jones continued to lead fundraising in the contest for his Senate seat at the end of the year, while former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville led fundraising on the Republican side.
The numbers, covering Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, suggest former U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions’ entry into the race in early November did not lead to a consolidation of the Republican field. They also showed the Republican Senate campaigns keeping their powder dry ahead of the March primary and a possible runoff in mid-April.
Jones, with no primary opponents, retains a cash on hand advantage. He may have a chance to fill his war chest for a race in which most observers consider him the underdog.
Jones’ FEC report says he raised $1.9 million during the fourth quarter. About $1.5 million came from individual contributions; $219,000 from political actions committees and $127,000 in transfers. The campaign spent nearly $1.5 million and finished with $5.4 million on hand.
Jones declined comment on the Republican fundraising Friday afternoon, pointing to a statement from Jones adviser Doug Turner earlier this month.
“From securing permanent funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, repealing the Military Widows Tax, simplifying the college aid application process and helping to secure paid parental leave for over 50,000 federal workers in Alabama, Doug has had an incredible year in the Senate and on the campaign trail,” the statement said.
Tuberville raised $531,487 in the fourth quarter and spent $462,265, numbers that both led the Republican field. He finished the quarter with $1.5 million on hand.
“Our fundraising quarter shows that people are ready for a change in Washington,” Tuberville said in a statement. “It is time to send Doug Jones home and elect someone who will have our President’s back through thick and thin.”
Sessions, who entered the race on Nov. 7, reported raising $312,060 during the quarter. The former senator had $2.5 million on hand at the end of the period. He spent $249,301 in the fourth quarter.
“The people of Alabama want a pro-Trump conservative who will never bow to the swamp in Washington,” John Rogers, a spokesman for Sessions’ campaign, said in a statement. “That’s who Jeff Sessions is.”
U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Mobile, reported raising $217,251 and finishing the period with $2.2 million on hand. The campaign reported spending $552,487.
“Our campaign is entirely focused on earning votes one person at a time, winning this primary, and defeating Doug Jones come November,” Byrne campaign manager Seth Morrow said in a statement.
Rep. Arnold Mooney, R-Indian Springs, raised $246,036 and spent $310,452 in the fourth quarter. He reported $321,630 on hand on Dec. .
Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, whose fundraising is usually small, reported raising $44,807 between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 and spending $34,881. He reported about $44,116 on hand.
(Brian Lyman, Montgomery Advertiser)