Money talks: Kline challenger Sarvi has less than $100,000 in the bank


Congressional challenger Steve Sarvi raised $145,000 in the second quarter of 2008 and finished June with $95,000 cash on hand, according to his campaign. The fundraising figures mark an improvement over the first quarter, when Sarvi reported raising just $95,000, with less than $40,000 in the bank.

“Our growing support from contributors shows that this is a campaign heading steadily in the right direction,” said campaign manager Eileen Weber in a press release announcing the fundraising figures.

But the dollar amounts are unlikely to make incumbent Rep. John Kline sweat. The Second District Republican reported having more than $500,000 on hand at the end of March. (Kline has not yet reported his second-quarter numbers, which are due to the Federal Elections Commission by July 15.)

As a point of comparison, GOP challenger Brian Davis, who is seeking to oust Rep. Tim Walz, reported yesterday that he brought in just over $290,000 in the second quarter — or twice as much as the Sarvi campaign. Most political observers believe the former Watertown mayor and Iraq war veteran will need to raise in the vicinity of $1 million to make the race competitive — a figure that looks highly unrealistic in light of the second quarter figures.

Kline has won each of his last two re-election campaigns by a 16-point margin. But Democrats have picked up 11 state legislative posts in just the last two election cycles in the district, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar won the area by 10 points in 2006. The Cook Partisan Voting Index rates the Second +3 for the GOP. Last week the Cook Political Report switched the Second District race from solid Republican to likely Republican.