Congressman Kevin Cramer’s fundraising continues to plummet in 2017. As an incumbent, Cramer only raised $103,325 in the third quarter of this year. This is down from the second quarter where he raised $226,274.51 and quarter one where he raised $322,390.30. The slow fundraising leaves Cramer with $824,008 cash-on-hand according to his FEC report. You can view the full report here.
Throughout the beginning of this year, Cramer was considered the favorite to challenge Senator Heidi Heitkamp. Then, Cramer had a series of cringe-worthy moments that made even the National Republican Senatorial Committee walk away from supporting him. Those cringe-worthy moments continue as Cramer defends anything and everything that comes out of the Trump administration.
His steadfast defense of the Trump administration clearly hasn’t translated into fundraising. Though he hasn’t explicitly said it, the slow fundraising confirms for me what some have suspected for awhile; Cramer isn’t going to run against Heitkamp. She already has close to $4 million cash-on-hand. He’ll seek reelection to the House. Former State Representative Ben Hanson is seeking the Democratic-NPL nomination to take on Cramer next year.
One of the controversies Cramer has backed Trump on is his dispute with the NFL. Cramer was quick to support Trump’s initial comments, and then tweeted applause when Vice President Mike Pence staged a political stunt and walked out of an NFL game. Taxpayers are on the hook for the stunt. The public grandstanding Cramer has given on the NFL didn’t stop him from taking money from the NFL. In the report, the Gridiron PAC (NFL’s PAC) donated $1,000 to Cramer. I’m curious if he’ll return that money.
Another interesting note from Cramer’s FEC report. In the past, he has been criticized for hiring his wife to be his campaign staffer. Some view it as a round-about way of using campaign contributions for personal gain. In the third quarter report, Cramer paid his wife $6,000. Another large portion of campaign expenses went toward reimbursements to Kevin Cramer himself.
Cramer has said previously he isn’t worried about fundraising, that he’ll be able to raise large sums of money quickly. At least that’s what he said when his name was still being thrown around to take on Heitkamp. Now that it appears unlikely he’ll seek the Senate, you have to wonder if he is taking his reelection chances for granted.