Some congressional candidates for Alabama’s District 1 are receiving campaign contributions from far and wide while others are counting on more local support, according to a geographical analysis of reports filed with the Federal Election Commission last week. All told, individuals in at least 32 states have chipped in on the race.
Wells Griffith, who is behind both Quin Hillyer and Bradley Byrne in terms of total dollars raised, appears to have the broadest support outside the Heart of Dixie, with donors in at least 30 states contributing to his campaign. Of the more than $162,000 Griffith has secured since announcing his candidacy mid-July, nearly $75,000 of it has come from beyond the state’s lines.
Approximately $26,000 of Griffith’s total is from the Beltway area of Washington D.C. and northern Virginia, but he also has pockets of support in Mississippi, Wisconsin, and California.
Notable donations to his campaign include $7,800 from Nebraska gubernatorial candidate Pete Ricketts, $5,200 from Ronald Weiser, the former chairman of the Michigan state Republican party and $2,600 from Wisconsin political consultant Jeff Larson.
Hillyer, who reported more than $165,000 in fundraising for his campaign to date, also has a number of supporters inside the Beltway to thank. At least $15,000 of Hillyer’s total has come from individual donors in the Washington D.C. area including $2,000 from conservative political activist Morton Blackwell and $500 from former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Artur Davis. Hillyer has also garnered $25,000 in donations from conservative political action committee Citizens United.
Byrne, an Eastern Shore attorney who reported a total of $317,245 in contributions through August, appears to have earned the majority of it in-state and largely from the business and legal community. In the month of June, Byrne had only three out-of-state contributions; a total of $1,000 from Florida and Connecticut. The other $63,000 in individual contributions he raised that month came from within Alabama.
State Rep. Chad Fincher, who reported just over $92,000 in contributions through August, appeared to compile most of his donations in-state as well. In fact, of the candidates with more than $50,000 in individual contributions, Fincher appeared to find the greatest percentage of hometown support. Eighty-five percent of the $34,075 he raised in June came from Mobile County.
Among Fincher’s donors that month included businessman and philanthropist Abraham Mitchell, who contributed $1,000 and Fred Stimpson, brother of mayor-elect Sandy Stimpson, who contributed $2,600. Fred Stimpson also contributed $500 to Wells Griffith’s campaign, as did Stimpson’s son Sands. Fincher also took out a $10,000 loan.
Dean Young reported contributions totaling $36,713, but also an outstanding loan of $64,500. Altogether, the candidates for District 1 have raised about $790,000 combined, less than the $1.08 million former congressman Jo Bonner compiled during the two-year period preceding his last re-election campaign in 2012.
Bradley Byrne: $317,245
Quin Hillyer: $165,445
Wells Griffith: $162,250
Chad Fincher: $92,035
Dean Young: $36,713
Jessica James: $9,068
Sharon Powe: $5,450
This article was updated on Sept. 17 to clarify the sources of Bradley Byrne’s donations.