The two Republicans who want to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright have raised only a fraction of the money they will probably need to accomplish their goal, according to the latest campaign finance reports.
Matthew Dietz, a Wind Gap airplane pilot, and Schuylkill County Coroner David J. Moylan have less than $15,000 in cash on hand combined while Cartwright's cash balance is approaching half a million dollars.
Cartwright, a Moosic resident, represents the 17th Congressional District, which includes Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pittston, Carbondale, other parts of Lackawanna and Luzerne counties, all of Schuylkill County and parts of Carbon, Monroe and Northampton counties.
Dietz began the last quarter of 2013 with $9,417.83 in cash, raised another $6,749.32, spent $3,243.23 and had a balance of $12,923.92.
Moylan's "Doc Moylan Goes to Washington Election Committee" began the quarter with $1,159.19, raised $3,800, spent $2,985.76 and closed the quarter with $1,973.43.
Cartwright began the quarter with $389,392.30, raised another $145,246.70, spent $63,668.26 and finished with $470,970.74 cash on hand.
The 17th District seat, which is heavily Democratic in voter registration, isn't considered competitive by major forecasters of congressional races. They all believe the 17th is a safely Democratic seat, though such ratings could change if a Republican challenger begins raising substantial amounts of money or Mr. Cartwright slips up and makes a mistake in voting or commits an ethical lapse.
Assuming both make the ballot, Moylan and Dietz will face each other for the Republican nomination at the May 20 primary election. The winner would likely face Mr. Cartwright in November. No Democrat has announced a challenge to Cartwright so far.
The other local congressional seats appear to be even less competitive at the moment. No one has announced challenges to either Rep. Tom Marino, R-10, Lycoming Twp., or Lou Barletta, R-11, Hazleton.
Both incumbent congressmen also had large amounts of cash on hand at the end of 2013 and one other advantage: no one has emerged as a potential challenger.
Marino began the last quarter with $227,047.83 in the bank. He raised another $116,248.66, spent $60,747.24 and had $282.549.25 in cash at the end of the year.
Barletta began the quarter with $192,898.07, raised $100,957.69, spent $130,506.96 and had $163,348.80 left.
Distributed by MCT Information Services