Federal Election Commission campaign fiance reports due today show that U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. is neck-and-neck in fund-raising with Republican Tom Smith, the former owner of a coal company from the Pittsburgh area. Smith reports that he has $4,485,000 in the bank -- much of it loaned to himself -- as of Dec. 31. Casey, according to his campaign, has $4,347,000 in the bank.
With Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Rob Gleason predicting last week that a candidate will need $15 million to $20 million to challenge Casey's bid for a second term, that would seem to give Smith a leg up in his party, which endorsed Chester County businessman Steven Welch this weekend at a meeting in Hershey. Welch's campaign says he has about $1 million on hand.
The seven-man GOP primary field is a story of the haves and have-nots. Former state Rep. Sam Rohrer, who advocated for no party endorsement, has $68,917 in the bank. Camp Hill attorney Marc Scaringi has just $2,935 in cash with $39,000 in debt. We're waiting on reports from candidates David Christian, John Kensinger and Tim Burns.
Update: Welch's campaign so far is mostly self-funded, like Smith's. Welch's report says he has $1,008,677 in the bank as of Dec. 31, after loaning his campaign $1,000,030.