Florida’s Vern Buchanan, who’s challenging Nunes in the race to succeed Brady, fell just short at $94,500. Buchanan voted to certify the electoral results, and though his campaign committee took in over $200,000 less than the same period two years ago — when he was second in contributions only to Nunes on Ways and Means — he’s still in fifth place this year on the 43-member panel at $376,000 in the first quarter.
Nebraska’s Adrian Smith, also vying to replace Brady, was near the bottom at a relatively paltry $43,000. But Smith has nearly $1.1 million in unspent cash and no debt; Buchanan’s committee has just $332,000 in cash on hand and $625,000 in loans, though he’s the third-wealthiest House member and could conceivably cover the debt himself.
Over the last few cycles, Smith has given more to GOP campaigns, with $972,000 sent to the National Republican Congressional Committee and $1.1 million overall to Republican candidates since 2017 through his campaign committee and other fundraising vehicles. That’s approaching Nunes’ $1.5 million during that time frame; records show Buchanan doling out just $154,000 to his colleagues, by contrast.
Whither the chairman?
Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., took in fewer donations than three other panel Democrats in the first quarter: Illinois’ Brad Schneider, Nevada’s Steven Horsford and Florida’s Stephanie Murphy.
Neal’s campaign account took in nearly $200,000 less than it did during the first quarter of 2019, when he was the top fundraiser among Ways and Means Democrats.