Minnesota: Paulsen Has Cash Edge in Race for Ramstad Seat

Posted January 14, 2008 at 6:44pm

State Rep. Erik Paulsen (R) will report raising almost $390,000 in the financial reporting quarter that rounded out the end of last year, leaving him with $360,000 in cash on hand — putting him well ahead of Democratic counterparts in the 3rd district who have already announced their fundraising totals. Paulsen is the only Republican who has announced a bid for the seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Jim Ramstad (R).

Paulsen’s finance chairman Eric Tostrud said the candidate “left another $100,000-plus on the table before the Dec. 31 reporting deadline, as some donors wait for Jim Ramstad to confirm, as expected, that he will stick to his decision to retire.”

For the Democrats, state Sen. Terri Bonoff announced she has raised $210,000 in the last three months of 2007, bringing her to a grand total of $300,000 total for her campaign to date and $230,000 in cash on hand. Her campaign said more than 97 percent of her donations came from in-state residents.

Iraq War veteran Ashwin Madia (D) announced his campaign raised $161,200 in the final reporting period of 2007 and has $123,000 in cash on hand. The campaign for Edina Mayor Jim Hovland (D) declined to release his fundraising numbers because they said they were still filing the report, which is not due at the Federal Election Commission until Jan. 31.

The race to represent the wealthy Twin Cities suburb is on track to be one of the most competitive and expensive in the country. Ramstad, known for his moderate Republican politics, held onto the seat for nine terms in the district that voted for Bush with 51 percent in 2004.
— Shira Toeplitz