Totals can be deceiving. If you looked at just the overview of fundraising available on the FEC website in the open race to replace Congressman Bradley Byrne for Alabama’s first congressional district you’d think that Jerry Carl is blowing away the competition. But you’d be wrong. He’s ahead in total cash on hand but not in fundraising.
A look at his reports show that while Carl is leading the field with cash on hand it’s due to two factors: First, is he had a headstart in raising money and secondly he has loaned himself a substantial amount, $305,000 to be exact.
The fundraising leader of this race is currently Bill Hightower but before we assume that he can turn money into votes and run away with this race we have to look at his history.
In his failed attempt to primary Governor Kay Ivey in 2018 he came in a distant fourth place garnering just 5% of the vote even though he spent $1,068,507. That’s not a promising vote to dollar turnaround for donors and potential donors.
Summing up the most recent filings on the FEC site: Senator Bill Hightower raised $386,238 (though his numbers aren’t fully processed you can view the raw data here), State Representative Chris Pringle raised $215,611 and Carl raised $108,026 in the same time period. Wes Lambert raised $48,129 but spent an astounding portion of that leaving himself with just $2,000 cash on hand. Carl’s first report due in May showed that he raised $187,592.
Here are the tables currently available from the FEC website.