Fundraising for the latest reporting period shows a close contest between candidates in Iowa House District 43, but a disparity in House District 44.
District 43 includes most of Marshalltown, with District 44 encompassing most of the outlying areas in both Marshall and Hardin Counties.
In District 43, Republican challenger Jane Jech raised slightly more than $6,000 this spring, whereas Democrat incumbent Mark Smith raised $5,300.
Smith reported 12 individual donors, with checks of $2,500 from the Iowa Health Alliance and $2,000 from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the union for public employees.
Smith said the fund-raising period was just beginning, but things could be difficult for all the candidates this year.
"Definitely, it's the time of the year when you start raising money and getting prepared for the fall campaign," he said. "Iowans are hurt very severely with the economy we live in. You just try to go out and raise money and try to run an effective campaign as best you can."
Jech reported 82 individual donations, with the largest donations being $250 and coming from several individuals: Sarah Kielman, Kevin and Ann Jones, Renee Ellerbroek, Flo Kapaun, Dave and Carol Gunderson, Joe and Shala Ludley, Steve and Doris Strand, and William and Nancy Grabe.
In House District 44, Annette Sweeney, the Republican incumbent, reported 51 individual donations, totaling $5,507 for the period. The largest was from Charles Sweeney for $750. Christopher Weaver made a donation of $500.
"I'm happy with the way my campaign is looking. There are a lot of grassroots people who have donated to my campaign," Sweeney said.
Mike Gerhart, her Democrat challenger, was relatively late getting into the race. He reported six individual donations, with $100 donations from four individuals: Karen Lischer, Wayne Sawtelle, Steve Sodders and Willie Accord.
Jech and Gerhart did not return phone calls Friday or Saturday seeking comment.
Contact Ken Black at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org