‘LaPolitics:’ Cash From Capitol Hill

    While political journalists in Louisiana were paying attention to the money flowing into and out of the fall election for governor, last week also marked an important filing deadline at the federal level. The state’s congressional delegation had to show their hands as well, just like the gubernatorial contenders did last Tuesday.

    Here’s a brief download on the dough reported to the Federal Election Commission:

    —U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, up for re-election next November, reported having nearly $3.5 million on hand. The senior Republican senator raised more than $845,000 in the first quarter of 2019 and spent roughly $163,000. Cassidy’s campaign is not carrying any debt.

    —U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, who will not be on the ballot until 2022, reported having more than $3.2 million on hand. The junior Republican senator raised slightly more than $300,000 in the first quarter of 2019 and spent $73,100. Kennedy’s campaign is not carrying any debt.

    —House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson reported that his campaign account has nearly $2.6 million in the bank. Scalise raised more than $2.5 million. It is worth noting that Scalise’s expenditures ran over $1.7 million. His other money operation, the Scalise Leadership Fund, took in nearly $3 million as well. Neither Scalise’s campaign or leadership PAC are carrying any debt.

    —Assistant House Majority Whip Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, reported having just over $447,000 on hand. According to the reports, the congressional pitching ace raised roughly $107,000 and spent about $127,000 during the quarter. Richmond’s campaign has $8,000 of debt on the books.

    —House Republican Study Committee Chair Mike Johnson, R-Shreveport, has over $548,000 in the bank, having raised roughly $238,000 during the first quarter of 2019. Johnson’s expenditures were slightly less than $100,000. He is not carrying any debt.

    —Congressman Clay Higgins, R-Port Barre, said that he had nearly $80,000 on hand. The Republican, who fought off multiple challengers in 2018, raised almost $90,000 in the first quarter. Higgins reported around $50,000 in expenditures and has no debt. Higgins also raised some eyebrows this quarter by forming a joint fundraising committee with Congressman Brian Babin of Texas. The Babin-Higgins Victory Fund has yet to start bringing in cash.

    —Congressman Ralph Abraham, R-Alto, is heavily focused on trying to win the governor’s race this fall, which explains why his congressional account took in only $8,000 in the quarter. Abraham has no debt and his expenditures topped $44,000. The physician reported having nearly $70,000 on hand. That number could be one to watch if Abraham starts sending money from his federal account to a Super PAC for the governor’s race.

    —Congressman Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, reported having more than $1.5 million in his war chest. According to the filings, Graves raised roughly $122,000 in the quarter and spent nearly $75,000. The Republican has no-debt on the books.

    They said it: “Frankly, we are people of the mud. If you don’t understand that, it takes a little while to acclimate.”—James Carville, about Louisianans on LSU’s Tiger TV.

    Jeremy Alford publishes LaPolitics Weekly, a newsletter on Louisiana politics, at LaPolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter, or on Facebook. He can be reached at JJA@LaPolitics.com.    

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