Republican Brendan Doherty headed into the final three weeks of the general election campaign with a big financial advantage over incumbent Democratic Congressman David Cicilline as the two candidates’ spending passed $3 million combined.
Doherty’s campaign had $328,060 on hand as of Oct. 17, while Cicilline’s campaign had only $153,281 left, according to Federal Election Commission reports the candidates filed Thursday evening.
Cicilline raised more money than Doherty from Oct. 1 through Oct. 17, though not by much. The Democrat’s contributions totaled $121,058 while the Republican’s totaled $97,104, the FEC filings show.
Doherty’s campaign outspent his opponent’s during those two and a half weeks, however, spending $278,860 to Cicilline’s $208,739. Cicilline has spent $2.03 million since the start of 2011 fighting to keep his seat, while Doherty has spent $1.1 million in his bid to defeat the freshman lawmaker.
The bulk of Doherty’s outlays went to OnMessage Inc., his campaign consultants, which got $226,847 for producing and placing the Republican’s TV advertising. Cicilline’s top expense was $156,287 spent with Abar Hutton Media, which places his TV ads. Both OnMessage and Abar Hutton are based in Alexandria, Va.
Doherty’s latest crop of donors includes Lifespan CEO Timothy Babineau ($250), Taco CEO John Hazen White Jr. ($1,000), and the political action committees of Taco Bell ($1,000), McDonald’s ($2,500) and New Jersey Congressman Scott Garrett ($2,000). He also got $5,000 from the Republican National Committee and $3,500 from the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Cicilline’s list includes music industry titan Irving Azoff ($2,500), former Citizens Financial Group CEO Lawrence Fish ($2,000), Loews Hotels CEO Jonathan Tisch ($1,000), Capitol City Group lobbyists Christopher Vitale ($1,250) and Gerry Harrington ($1,000), Goldman Sachs’ top Washington lobbyist Michael Paese ($1,000), former Brown & Sharpe Chairman Henry Sharpe Jr. ($1,000) and Oscar-winning director James L. Brooks ($1,000).
Cicilline also received donations from the political action committees of Planned Parenthood ($5,000), U.S. Sen. Jack Reed ($3,500), Lockheed Martin ($3,000), Sony Pictures ($2,500), Amgen ($2,000), Alexion ($1,500), Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey ($1,000) and Enterprise Rent-A-Car ($1,000), among others.
Cicilline has raised a total of $2.1 million this election cycle. Doherty has raised nearly $1.4 million.
A WPRI 12 poll last month showed Cicilline at 44%, followed by Doherty at 38% and independent David Vogel at 6%, with 10% of voters still undecided.
• Related: Newest Cicilline TV ad hits back at GOP on his legal career (Oct. 23)