Republican Richard Tisei pulled in more than $300,000 in the first seven weeks of his bid to take on eight-term Rep. John Tierney (D) in Massachusetts.
Tisei, a former state Senator and GOP nominee for lieutenant governor in 2010, raised $305,000 in the fourth quarter of last year and had $260,000 in cash on hand at the end of December, his campaign manager told Roll Call.
In a state where only 11 percent of registered voters were Republican in 2010, it's an impressive haul.
"That's real money," Massachusetts Democratic strategist Scott Ferson said. "That's well on his way to being viable."
Add his ability to raise real money to the list of attributes that make Tisei unique. He ran in his first statehouse race when he was 21 — and won, he's an openly gay Republican and he's a credible candidate for Congress in a state that hasn't elected a Republican to the House since 1994.
Before taking on Tierney in the 6th district, Tisei will have to beat attorney Bill Hudak in a primary. Hudak was the GOP nominee last cycle and was handily beaten by Tierney. Strategists in the state expect Tisei to win the primary easily.
Tierney has yet to release his fourth-quarter fundraising figures but had a comfortable bankroll at the end of September with $441,000 in cash on hand. State Democrats consider him particularly vulnerable this cycle as a result of his wife's family's legal troubles. Still, he's a Democrat in a state that religiously elects Democrats to the House.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.