CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito brought in more than $817,000 for her U.S. Senate bid last quarter, while her likely competition, Natalie Tennant, kept pace by raising almost $800,000, campaign officials told The Associated Press.
Republican Capito still maintains about a 4-to-1 cash advantage after the January-through-March fundraising period. The seven-term congresswoman has about $4.2 million cash on hand.
Tennant, West Virginia’s two-term Democratic secretary of state, has more than $1 million in her campaign account.
Neither candidate has any debt, according to their campaigns.
Republicans are gunning for a half-dozen states like West Virginia, where President Barack Obama lost and remains unpopular. Tennant is trying to distance herself from the president, particularly on emission policies viewed in West Virginia as detrimental to its signature industry, coal.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller is retiring from the seat after five terms. Democrats have held both West Virginia Senate seats since 1956.
Both candidates are expected to win their May primaries easily. Political analysts give Capito the edge in the general election, but Tennant’s campaign says it’s gaining ground.
The Federal Election Commission’s reporting deadline for the first quarter is Tuesday.