Former state Sen. Bradley Byrne far outraised the crowded GOP primary field in the special election to replace former Rep. Jo Bonner in Alabama's 1st District.
Byrne, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor in 2010, raised $241,363 between July 1 and Sept. 4 and has $183,629 cash on hand going into the Sept. 24 primary, according to his filing with the Federal Elections Commission.
Byrne's haul is nearly $80,000 more than former Republican National Committee aide Wells Griffith. He raised the second-highest amount at $162,250 in the same period and has $87,730 in cash on hand, according to his FEC filing.
Quin Hillyer, a newspaper columnist who receive an endorsement from former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, raised the third-highest with $150,927 and $49,729 in cash on hand going into the primary.
State Rep. Chad Fincher is fourth in the fundraising race, raising $56,145 in the pre-primary period. He has $64,120 cash on hand going into the primary. Fincher also has the support of GOPAC, an organization that helps elevate Republicans into higher office, which ran an ad in support of Fincher's campaign.
And Dean Young, who waged an unsuccessful primary bid against Bonner in 2012, raised $34,260 — including a $10,000 personal loan to his campaign – with $23,335 in cash on hand.
The special election primary was called when Bonner resigned to take a job with the University of Alabama system. If no candidate garners 50 percent of the vote, a primary runoff will be held on Nov. 5.
With such a crowded field, the likelihood of a runoff is high. A runoff means extra expenditures for the top two candidates, making the fundraising race in this contest even more important.
Alabama’s 1st District is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call, so whoever wins the GOP primary will likely be the next member of Congress from this district.