Some Washington, D.C. heavy hitters are lining up behind Mia Love’s campaign.
Big name Republicans like Chairman Paul Ryan, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Florida Representative Allen West held a fundraiser for Love on Tuesday. Love says she’s not sure how much the event brought into her campaign, but it’s well over $10,000.
“I’m not an establishment candidate,” Love says of her high-profile supporters. “I don’t need Paul Ryan and those other people. I’m grateful to have their support, but I don’t need to tout my endorsements. If they didn’t feel like I didn’t have anything to offer, they wouldn’t be helping me.”
Love says each of those lawmakers have also donated to her campaign.
“They’ve maxed out,” says Love, referring to the maximum $2,500 donation that can be made per election cycle to a federal campaign.
Contrast Love’s fundraising with Rep. Stephen Sandstrom. Since he’s still in the legislature, he’s prohibited from raising money while the legislature is in session.
Alan Crooks, general consultant for Sandstrom’s campaign, says despite the fundraising restrictions, they’re where they want to be at this point.
“We do plan to ramp up our fundraising once the session is over,” says Crooks. “We’re out there working. We’re doing all the right things, but we can’t raise money. Our hands are tied.”
Crooks is currently cultivating support for Sandstrom in Washington, D.C.
“People in D.C. want to give us money, but we’re not allowed to take it. They are absolutely stunned by that restriction.”
Another Republican contender for the seat, Carl Wimmer, resigned from the legislature in order to fundraise for his bid. He is unfazed by the big Tea Party affiliated names that are lining up behind Love.
“I’ve been endorsed by Club for Growth, Citizens United, RedState.com’s Erick Erickson and a number of other groups. Just about every major conservative political organization has aligned behind my candidacy,” says Wimmer.
Wimmer says stepping down from the Utah Legislature before the 2012 session was the right decision for him.
“I can say it was 100% the right decision for my campaign. We have raised an incredible amount of money in a short period of time.”
Wimmer stresses he completely respects Sandstrom’s choice to remain in the House during the 2012 session.
Both Love and Wimmer emphatically point out they’ve been raising money in Utah as well. Wimmer says he has more than 600 individual donors from in the state, while Love touts she has received money from over 400 Utahns.
Love says the outpouring of support so far reflects the importance of the race for the 4th District seat.
“We have the opportunity to do something very special in 2012, and that’s beat Jim Matheson.”