Less than three months after being sworn in as a freshman member of Congress, Matt Cartwright's campaign committee apparently did not get out of its election-year mode when it came to fundraising.
The Cartwright for Congress committee reported $219,375 raised in the first three months of this year, nearly four times what it ended last year with in the bank. By comparison, U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta's campaign committee collected $116,984 in the same span.
And fellow Northeast Pennsylvania Congressman Tom Marino's campaign committee reported $108,348 from Jan. 1 through March 31.
That means Cartwright came within $6,957 of what Barletta and Marino raised combined.
“I believe that Matt's strong showing is a testament to the hard work and leadership role he has taken on in Washington,” said Shane Seaver, speaking on behalf of the Cartwright campaign.
Cartwright, who was a partner with the Munley, Munley & Cartwright law firm, saw fellow attorneys donate heavily. And that didn't stop after he was elected. A review of the 379 donations to his campaign shows at least 265 came from donors listing themselves as attorneys.
When it came to money generated by political action committees, Barletta led the pack with $48,050 raised through 20 of those types of committees, including a half dozen from railroad-related PACs.
Cartwright's campaign collected $28,750 from 17 PACs, including $5,000 each from two union-related PACs: the Sheet Metal Workers' International Association and the United Food and Commercial Workers International PAC.
Marino for Congress took in $20,000 from 11 PACs, including a $2,500 from the Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. PAC.
All three campaign committees reported debt, even though all three handily defeated their opponents. Two of the three listed unpaid personal loans:
• The campaign for Marino, R-Lycoming Township, listed $9,323. Disalvo's, a Williamsport catering company, was owed $2,178 for food services. Robert H. Nelson, a Washington fundraising consultant, was owed the remaining $7,145.
• The campaign for Barletta, R-Hazleton, listed $120,541 under his debts and obligations column. The largest chunk — $72,500 — consists of personal loans Barletta made to the campaign. Another $39,919 is owed to Keystone Strategies Inc. of Harrisburg for fundraising consulting and related costs.
• Cartwright, D-Moosic, might have been the big winner last November — or, to be precise, last April when he knocked off incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Holden in a fortified Democratic district — but the win came at a price. His campaign listed debts and obligations as of March 31 of $395,000. Of that, $390,000 were personal loans made by Cartwright to his campaign.