Sen. Jon Tester raked in more than $2 million in the second quarter of this year, according to figures first provided to POLITICO — currently giving the Montana Democrat $4.7 million on hand for one of the most closely watched Senate races in the 2018 cycle.
The $2 million figure for the second quarter of 2017 mirrors the amount of cash Tester raised in the first three months of the year. According to his campaign, 91 percent of the contributions are $100 or less.
“Broad, grassroots support continues to grow for Jon’s campaign, and this filing is the latest sign of that,” Tester campaign manager Christie Roberts said in a statement. “Montanans know Jon has stood up for them on health care and has a record of making responsible decisions and holding Washington accountable. He is grateful for the support from people across the state.”
Tester, whose home state of Montana went for Donald Trump by 20 points last November, is one of the top targets for Republicans next year — yet the GOP has struggled to recruit a top-tier candidate to run against the farmer and former chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Former Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) was the top choice of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and national Republicans until he was nominated by Trump to serve as his Interior secretary. State Attorney General Tim Fox also bowed out of running, choosing instead to focus on a gubernatorial bid in 2020.
As was true in the first quarter of this year, a slew of Senate Democrats in competitive races next fall have already reported significant fundraising sums in the three-month period that ended June 30.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) reported raising $3.1 million in the second quarter of this year. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) both raised $2.6 million, and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) raised $1.3 million.