When it comes to fundraising and spending during an election year, the Democratic incumbents representing Inver Grove Heights had a clear advantage over their Republican challengers in 2010.
District 39B Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL) outspent his Republican opponent by a nearly 10-1 ratio in the 2010 election, according to campaign finance reports released earlier this year by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. In 2010, Atkins raised nearly $76,000. Individual contributions made up the bulk of that money, roughly $58,000, with some of the donations coming from as far away as International Falls, Florida and New Jersey.
Atkins' extensive fundraising, plus $27,000 he carried over from 2009, meant the state representative had just over $103,000 at his disposal in 2010, compared to the roughly $11,500 that his opponent, Terry Pearson, was able to field for his candidacy.
Atkins spent roughly $96,390 last year, including more than $18,000 on printing and mailing campaign advertisements. But much of his money was also spent on "non-campaign disbursements"—including purchasing food and beverages for campaign volunteers, automobile gas and maintenance reimbursements, telephone bills and office supplies.
For his part, Pearson spent a total of roughly $10,200 last year. Nearly three-quarters of that money, $7,199, was spent on general advertising, including printed flyers and a TV advertisement.
District 39 Sen. Jim Metzen (DFL) was no slouch in the 2010 election. The Senator began 2010 with roughly $14,000 in funding, but raised roughly $37,474 over the course of the year, including $8,350 in individual donations. Metzen spent roughly $44,393 during 2010—the majority of it on campaign advertising.
That number is more than double the money spent by Metzen's 2010 Republican opponent, Robb Soleim, Jr. Soleim raised roughly $19,720 in 2010, and spent roughly $19,000.
See the chart below for detailed information on the candidates' fundraising sources in 2010.
2010 Fundraising SourcesCampaign Fund Balance at the Beginning of 2010 Total Money Raised Individual Contributions Lobbyist Contributions Funds Donated by Political Parties and Campaign Committees Political Committee Contributions Public Subsidy Money Received Receipts From Loans Payable Total 2010 Expenditures Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL) $27,089.38 $75,962.99 $57,944.00 $4,257.00 $5,000.00 $1,950.00 $6,839.99 $0 $96,508.81 Challenger Terry Pearson (R) $618.08 $10,840.83 $4,155.00 $0 $1,882.62 $0 $4,753.21 $0 $10,199.96
Sen. Jim Metzen (DFL)$14,056.41 $37,474.50 $6,380.00 $3,425.00 $8,350.00 $5,000 $14,319.50 $0 $44,393.41 Challenger Robb Soleim, Jr. (R) $0 $19,820 $6,326.14 $0 $850 $0 $11,544.11 $1,000 $19,028.81