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Donnelly leads in fundraising as Senate race heats up | 2017-07-17 | Indianapolis Business Journal

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana is holding strong against would-be challengers when it comes to fundraising ahead of what’s sure to be a competitive 2018 race.

Donnelly raised more than $1.3 million in the second quarter of 2017 and has nearly $3.7 million in cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission reports. Donnelly’s campaign also touted another $145,000 transferred in contributions from joint fundraising committees.

Though neither Republican U.S. Reps. Luke Messer nor Todd Rokita have officially filed to take him on in 2018, they are both expected to enter the Senate race. And they both trail Donnelly in fundraising.

Messer, who has several veteran and establishment GOP heavyweights behind his potential candidacy, raised about $578,000 in the second quarter, bringing his war chest to little over $2 million.

And Rokita raised more than $1 million during the second quarter, from April 1 to June 30, bringing his war chest to about $2.4 million.

Donnelly’s campaign noted the reports give Donnelly a “roughly $1.4 million cash on hand advantage, and that’s poised only to keep growing as Republicans look ahead to a nasty, expensive primary.”

Meanwhile, Rokita’s team has been highlighting its fundraising prowess against Messer on social media. His campaign posted on July 15 about Rokita’s nearly $500,000 fundraising edge against Messer this quarter and wrote “momentum is on our side.”

Donnelly is one of the nation’s most vulnerable Democratic senators up for re-election next year, according to political observers. He came under criticism last week for profiting from a family business that relies on Mexican labor while criticizing other companies for outsourcing jobs.

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