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Cassidy Can't Use Some Money Until Runoff, Records Show

Through Oct. 1, Congressman Bill Cassidy (R-Baton Rouge) collected just over $1.6 million in 2013 as he gears up for his 2014 race against U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu and tea party challenger Rob Maness. But some of that money will only follow Cassidy if he makes it to the next round. According to federal campaign contribution reports, about 9 percent of the money is earmarked as a "runoff contribution," meaning the Congressman can't use the money unless he finishes among the top two candidates in the first round of voting.



According to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, runoff contributions total $147,100 of the contributions that Cassidy received so far in 2013. The totals weren't entirely from new contributions. Cassidy transferred $29,100 in runoff contributions from his Congressional campaign committee. The $119,000 were contributed directly over the first three quarters of 2013. Landrieu did not have any runoff contributions, according to campaign reports.


Cassidy netted a total of 677,544.09 in the third quarter, which spans July-September, 2013. When combined with transfers from committees, the Congressman's campaign has taken in a total of $4,082,964.90 to date. He has about $3.4 million on hand.


While the vast majority of Cassidy's war chest thus far has come from his House committee to the tune of $2.4 million, the fundraising race going forward will be largely based around the perception that money is being raised. Political donors like to pick a winner, and showing that you're raising a lot of money is one way for a candidate to look like they're trending. In the second quarter, Cassidy's runoff contributions helped that perception.


Cassidy netted his highest tally of runoff contributions in the second quarter, posting $101,000 in funds that can only be used if the Congressman moves into the next round of the election.


From April 1-June 30, Cassidy took in a total of $995,040.87. That brings him close to the million-dollar mark, which is a key benchmark in looking attractive to potential donors, especially in the case of a new candidate. Meanwhile, Cassidy's Congressional campaign raised about $101,000, which puts the overall total about $1,092,000. When factoring in the runoff donations of $109,000 for the second quarter, the total dips back down below the $1 million benchmark.

Some of the donors of runoff contributions in Quarter 2 included New Orleans-based owner of Southern Recycling Edward Diefenthal; Greg Hamer, Executive Vice President of Louisiana fast food franchiser B&G Foods; and Gary Mockler of Baton Rouge's Mockler Beverage Company.


Meanwhile, state Republicans have been intimating that the race's field of primary opponents might grow beyond Landrieu and Maness, as Republicans continue to talk about jumping into the race. State Rep. Alan Seabaugh flirted with a run, but decided against it and endorsed Cassidy late Sunday night. Meanwhile, North Louisiana Congressman John Fleming told Politico that a couple more candidates could jump in. Those candidates won't include him, Fleming said.


"There may be a couple of surprises in there before it’s all over with," Fleming told Politico.


Cassidy's office did not reply to a request for comment.

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