Eight years in Pierre gives Rep. Patrick Kirschman another advantage over challenger Reynold Nesiba: fundraising. According to pre-primary campaign finance reports filed last week, Kirschman has raised $13,346 for the District 15 winner-take-all Democratic primary, while Nesiba has raised $9,947.86.
Nesiba actually did better on individual contributions, raising $8,698 compared to Kirschman’s $2,821. Nesiba drew nearly a third of that individual take from online contributions through ActBlue; Kirschman’s report shows no such online fundraising.
Kirschman’s advantage comes from his incumbent connections with legislators and lobbying groups. Kirschman’s report shows contributions from five candidate committees:
- Rep. Dennis Feickert (D-1/Aberdeen): $100
- Sen. Jim Peterson (D-4/Revillo): $125
- Sen. Bernie Hunhoff (D-18/Yankton): $200
- Rep. Arch Beal (R-12/Sioux Falls): $500
- Rep. Lee Schoenbeck (R-5/Watertown): $1,000
All but Beal are retiring from the Legislature. The two Republicans, Beal and Schoenbeck, are giving Kirschman over three times more than his fellow Democratic Legislative supporters. (Hey! Schoenbeck! You gonna spread some of that GOP love for Dems up here in District 3?)
Kirschman’s $1,925 from five Legislative candidate committees beats the $1,250 that Nesiba received from two candidate committees:
- Rep. Peggy Gibson (D-23/Huron): $1,000
- Former Rep. Susy Blake (D-Sioux Falls): $250
However, Nesiba also received an individual contribution of $500 from former and future Rep. Susan Wismer (D-Britton), bringing him closer to Kirschman’s colleague take. Another $250 came from Susan Heidepriem, wife of former Democratic legislator Scott Heidepriem. So interestingly, these four legislatively connected ladies are backing Nesiba with just a bit more cash than Kirschman is getting from five guy pals from the Capitol.
Kirschman most clearly cleans up in PAC money. Kirschman lists $7,950 in contributions from 18 PACs. His biggest PAC backers, each chipping in $1,000, are the trial lawyers, the chiropractors, the realtors, the AFL-CIO. Nesiba has reported no PAC money. Evidently the lobbyists in Pierre prefer the Democrat they know to the Democrat whom they have to get to know.