Dem Assembly and Senate candidates outraised their GOP opponents this year in 19 of the 20 most competitive legislative races, according to a WisPolitics.com analysis of pre-election finance reports.
Dem fundraising was largely fueled by state party and legislative campaign committee donations, especially in the final weeks before the fall elections wrap up, as Dems sought to reach into what have been Republican seats under the current maps.
In fact for at least six Dem candidates, more than half of their total receipts for the year came from party contributions from Sept. 1 to Oct. 19, according to finance reports.
Individuals per cycle are limited to donating $2,000 to a Senate candidate and $1,000 to an Assembly candidate, respectively. But state law does allow unlimited individual donations to political parties, which in turn can transfer unlimited funds to campaigns.
See a summary of the candidates’ year-to-date finances:
Senate District 8
Dem challenger Neal Plotkin as of Oct. 19 raised $633,646, spent $543,154 and had $104,031 cash on hand. Out of all of his receipts, $478,206 came from state Dem Party and State Senate Democratic Committee in-kind contributions since September.
Incumbent Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, pre-election took in $470,840, spent $465,544 and had $136,602 in the bank. And $245,193 of her receipts came from state GOP and Committee to Elect a Republican Senate in-kind contributions.
Sen. Patty Schachtner, D-Somerset, raised $618,238 through mid-October, with $282,393 coming from state Dem Party in-kind contributions since September. So far this year she also spent $532,756 with a $160,321 warchest.
Her challenger, Rep. Rob Stafsholt, R-New Richmond, raised $495,520, spent $465,544 and had $136,602 cash on hand. CERS and the state GOP contributed $253,152 of his total receipts this year.
Dem Paul Piotrowski took in $841,526 so far this cycle, while he spent $716,643 and had $124,822 cash on hand. Of his total receipts, the party and the SSDC contributed $81,247
Meanwhile, incumbent Sen. Pat Testin, R-Stevens Point, raised $245,954, spent $412,448 and had $71,195 in the bank with about two weeks in the election to go. CERS and the state GOP gave his campaign $36,057 in in-kind donations since September, according to reports.
Dem Jonathon Hansen raised $1.2 million this cycle and spent $1.1 million, according to pre-election reports. He had $81,522 still in the bank, and Dem Party donations, both monetary and in-kind, contributed $543,372 to his campaign.
GOP candidate Eric Wimberger this year raised $288,470, with $199,672 coming from CERS and state GOP in-kind contributions. He also spent $286,594 and had $6,979 cash on hand.
Dem candidate and former DATCP Secretary-designee Brad Pfaff raised $1.5 million through Oct. 19, with $365,526 coming from Dem Party in-kind transfers since September. He also spent $1.3 million and had $157,428 cash on hand.
And Republican Dan Kapanke raised $517,608, spent $354,150 and had $163,458 still in the bank. CERS and the state GOP contributed $86,076 to his campaign since September.
Assembly District 4
Dem candidate Kathy Hinkfuss raised $219,861, spent $193,872 and had a $25,989 warchest.
Incumbent Rep. David Steffen, R-Green Bay, raised $48,083, spent $139,164 and had $18,774 cash on hand.
Dem Sara Rodriguez raised $332,055, spent $316,045 and had $16,042 in the bank.
Her GOP opponent, incumbent Rep. Rob Hutton, of Brookfield, took in $116,186 this cycle, spent $72,102 and had $71,460 in the bank.
Incumbent Dem Rep. Robyn Vining, of Wauwatosa, raised $907,127 this cycle, with $524,531 coming from Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee and state Dem Party donations.
Her GOP opponent Bonnie Lee, of Brookfield, took in $288,367 this cycle, with $102,445 coming from state GOP in-kind contributions. She spent $226,462 and had $61,905 cash on hand.
Dem candidate Jessica Katzenmeyer raised $158,082 through mid-October, spent 499,785 and had $58,297 cash on hand.
Incumbent Rep. Joe Sanfelippo, R-New Berlin, meanwhile, took in $45,371, spent $40,426 and had $43,974 cash on hand.
Dem Erik Brooks raised $435,607, with $347,346 coming from Dem Party donations and in-kind contributions. He spent $344,411 so far in the race and had $80,096 cash on hand.
Incumbent Rep. Jessie Rodriguez, R-Oak Creek, raised $176,693, spent $152,223 and had a $50,268 warchest.
Dem candidate Deb Andracca raised $535,396 this cycle, spent $495,239 and had $71,253 cash on hand as of mid-October. Of her total receipts, $175,379 came from state Dem Party transfers, according to finance reports.
And incumbent Rep. Jim Ott, R-Mequon, raised $259,918, spent $228,297 and had $34,013 in the bank. State GOP in-kind contributions since September took up $134,416 of the total receipts.
Dem Emily Siegrist raised $405,128, with $282,142 of the money coming from ADCC and Dem Party donations and in-kind contributions. She spent $401,267 and had $17,276 cash on hand.
Incumbent Rep. Dan Knodl, R-Germantown, raised $208,617 with $112,352 coming from state GOP in-kind contributions. He spent $146,649 and had $91,414 still in the bank.
Dem Sarah Yacoub raised $382,274, spent $334,831 and had $55,000 cash on hand. Of her total receipts, $132,820 came from the state Dem Party and ADCC in-kind contributions.
And incumbent Rep. Shannon Zimmerman, R-River Falls, took in $177,874, spent $187,293 and had $13,903 in the bank.
Dem Kriss Marion raised $537,362 this cycle, with $233,815 coming from ADCC and state Dem Party donations and in-kind contributions since September. Marion spent $351,234 and still had $183,306 in the bank as of mid-October.
Her opponent, incumbent Rep. Todd Novak, R-Dodgeville, raised $294,104, with $168,123 coming from state GOP and RACC in-kind contributions. He so far spent $289,622 and had $30,520 still in the bank.
Dem Dan Schierl raised $29,312, spent $24,194 and as of mid-October had $5,118 cash on hand.
His GOP opponent Rachel Cabral-Guevara meanwhile raised $98,604, spent $76,171 and had $25,078 cash on hand.
Incumbent Rep. Nick Milroy, D-South Range, raised $162,266, spent $34,393 and still had $133,602 in the bank as of Oct. 19.
And Republican opponent Keith Kern took in $73,119, spent $46,664 and had $26,455 cash on hand.
Incumbent Rep. Beth Meyers, D-Bayfield, raised $727,657, including $219,651 in transfers and in-kind contributions from ADCC and the state Dem Party. She spent $708,266 and reported $63,362 in cash as of Oct. 19.
Her GOP opponent James Bolen reported raising $62,654, spending $56,305 and $11,174 in the bank at the end of the period.
Incumbent Rep. Ken Skowronski, R-Franklin, reported $48,843 in donations, $34,252 in spending and an ending cash balance of $18,511.
His Dem challenger, Jacob Malinowski, raised $223,312, including $105,865 from the ADCC and the state Dem Party. He spent $162,182 and had $61,129 in cash on hand.
Incumbent Rep. John Macco, R-Ledgeview, reported $158,764 raised, including $88,765 combined from RACC and the state GOP. He spent $152,939 and ended up with $45,612 in cash at the end of the period.
His Democratic opponent Kristin Lyerly reported $400,588 in fundraising, including $216,684 from the state Dem Party. She spent $374,570 and ended the period with $26,019 in cash.
Incumbent Rep. Steve Doyle, D-Onalaska, raised $484,350 this year, so far spent $340,187 and still had $225,142 cash on hand. His pre-election finance report also listed $50,000 from ADCC since September.
GOP opponent Kevin Hoyer raised $65,874, spent $59,599 and had $2,795 cash on hand.