Freshman Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) has collected more than $325,000 in the first quarter of the year, according to figures obtained Tuesday by Roll Call.
The haul is among the highest in the nation for a freshman Representative, according to a Republican campaign aide who tracks fundraising totals across the country.
It also reflects the challenging path ahead for Meehan. The Republican serves in Pennsylvania’s 7th district, a suburban Philadelphia region that leans left and will be a top Democratic target in 2012.
In addition to raising more than $325,000 by March 31, the former U.S. attorney will report $270,000 in cash on hand when he files his quarterly campaign finance report with the Federal Election Commission this week.
“Those are really incredible numbers that are among the highest for freshman Members,” the GOP campaign aide said. “It’s going to position him well and really make Democrats think twice about running against him.”
The aide acknowledged that Meehan is serving in a difficult district. Meehan took advantage of the open seat vacated by then-Rep. Joe Sestak (D), who pursued an unsuccessful Senate run. Meehan won convincingly.
But the landscape will be far different in 2012.
The 7th district is one of the few in the nation that was carried by Democratic presidential candidates in 2004 and 2008. President Barack Obama, who will top the ticket during Meehan’s re-election bid, won by 13 points there in 2008.
“Unfortunately for Rep. Pat Meehan, no amount of money will dissuade seniors from voting him out of office,” said Josh Schwerin, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations for the IRS, arrives for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the investigation of the IRS' targeting of political groups. Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to not testify and caused a protest from some committee members when she offered an opening statement and engaged in dialogue with members before invoking the right.
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