The Buzz

Mulvaney, Person money race remains tight in SC 5th District

Fran Person (on left) and Mick Mulvaney
Fran Person (on left) and Mick Mulvaney

In South Carolina’s most competitive congressional race this year, the race for dollars remains tight.

During the second quarter, incumbent U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-Indian Land, raised $100,000 more than Democratic challenger Fran Person of Tega Cay in the 5th District race.

Both candidates had strong finishes to their fund raising during the quarter, which ended June 30. Contributions picked up after the May 25 end of the Federal Election Commission’s “pre-primary” season.

Mulvaney raised $324,736 during the quarter, including $254,945 since May 25. Person raised $225,686, including $181,105 since the pre-primary period.

Person was upbeat about his campaign’s numbers, having raised $403,448 from March through June.

“We have a plan for what it’s going to take,” Person said. “We’re clearly raising the money we need to get our message out, and the money we need to shine a light on the current congressman’s record.”

Person received $16,700 from political committees during the latest reporting period, while Mulvaney raised $132,730.

Mulvaney says Person, a Pennsylvania native and former USC football player who previously was on the staff of Vice President Joe Biden, is depending on individual out-of-state donors.

“It's clear that the Obama-Biden fundraising machine is very active,” Mulvaney said in a statement. “I am looking forward to proving to national Democrats ... that you cannot cherry-pick a candidate, move him into our state, and buy a House seat in South Carolina.”

As of the end of June, Mulvaney had $524,221 in cash on hand, while Person had $302,208 in the bank.

In the first quarter of this year, Person outraised Mulvaney, although the incumbent maintains an overall lead, having raised $841,882 this election cycle to Person's $403,443.

The race is drawing national attention from Democrats who hope to pick up seats in the House of Representatives this fall.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has labeled the race an “emerging race,” based on Person’s fundraising figures.

“Fran Person has proven he is one of the few Democrats who can raise the necessary funds to make South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District more competitive,” the Democratic committee said in its “Red to Blue” email, highlighting battleground races where the party hopes to make gains.

Of the 10 races highlighted by the committee, the 5th District race is the only one in the Southeast outside Virginia.