Four GOP senators who are likely to be targeted in their re-election bids have an average of $104,000 each in their bank accounts as they gear up for 2018.
But their warchests range from Sen. Terry Moulton’s some $34,000 in cash on hand to Sen. Howard Marklein’s nearly $187,000, according to a WisPolitics.com review of the latest round of campaign finance reports covering the first half of the year.
Meanwhile, two Dems who could see their seats contested next year have less than $21,000 stored up. The two are Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, an Alma Dem who’s exploring a run for governor but will likely face a tough election for her western Wisconsin Senate seat if she opts out of a guv bid; and Sen. Janet Bewley, D-Ashland, who faced a close election in 2014.
Vinehout ended the period with $15,584 in the bank. She also raised $29,529 and spent $18,525. Bewley has $20,093 in cash on hand, after raising $7,805 between Jan. 1 and June 30 and only spending $636.
The four GOP seats to watch in 2018 include:
*17th SD: Marklein, R-Spring Green, ended the period with $186,984 in cash on hand, while reporting $60,214 in contributions and $2,171 in expenses.
*19th SD: Senate President Roger Roth, R-Appleton, has $101,560 in the bank after pulling in the biggest fundraising haul of the bunch, reporting $87,124 in contributions, and spending $6,563.
*29th SD: Sen. Jerry Petrowski, R-Marathon, has $93,052 in the bank after raising $2,820 and spending $8,356 over the first six months of the year.
*23rd SD: Moulton, R-Chippewa Falls, finished the period with $33,811 in the bank, $1,304 in contributions and $437 in expenses.
Joint Finance Committee Co-chair Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, logged the highest amount of money raised among her Senate colleagues, bringing in $96,420 over the first half of the year. She also spent $41,491, ending with $110,786 in the bank.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, recorded $35,105 in contributions and $47,021 in expenses, leaving him with $301,924, the highest cash on hand among all senators.
And Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Brookfield, the chamber’s assistant majority leader, brought in $2,665, and spent $21,664, ending the period with $78,942 in the bank.
Fitzgerald and Vukmir are considering bids against U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, next year. But they would not be able to transfer their entire state campaign balance for a U.S. Senate bid, as they would face a federal limit of $2,000 per election from candidate committees.
See fundraising numbers for all senators: