Wanggaard War Chest Outpaces Challenger; Lehman Not Worried
State Sen. Van Wanggaard has almost $100,000 more cash on hand than his presumed challenger, former Sen. John Lehman. Neither candidate thinks it really matters in the end.
State Sen. Van Wanggaard has raised more money overall and has more cash on hand than his presumed challenger, former Sen. John Lehman. Neither candidate, however, really thinks that matters much in the end.
Wanggaard is facing a recall election in the 21st Senate District. He ran against Lehman in November 2010 and won a first term in Madison.
According to campaign finance reports filed yesterday, Wanggaard has $191,033 available cash and Lehman has $93,750 cash on hand. Total contributions come to $150,652 for Wanggaard and $103,744 for Lehman.
"I don't know that the money really makes a difference," Wanggaard told Patch Tuesday. "This is a recall election so it's our records that will be important."
Lehman said that Wanggaard has been able to raise money since the recall effort was launched against him last fall while Lehman has managed to bring in his totals in just about eight weeks.
"I am seeing more enthusiasm and dollar support than I've seen in any previous campaign," he said in an interview Tuesday. "I'm not going to catch Van, but I don't have to. This is my third time doing this so I have a pretty good idea how this works and how much money is needed."
Both Wanggaard and Lehman agree that there is a lot of attention from outside the 21st District focused on their race.
"I think that because this race is close, both of our campaigns will be snowed by third party spending," Lehman noted. "Spending is expected to be mammoth."
Wanggaard said he thinks unions have already pumped millions into this recall election and will probably pump even more.
"I haven't looked at John's report, but I suspect most of his money is coming from outside the district, including from unions like AFSCME," he continued.
As for which third parties might support him, Wanggaard said the NRA (National Rifle Association) might do something. He said support from private employer unions might come, too, since he's worked with them on legislation aimed at creating jobs throughout the state.
"Protest" candidate Tamra Varebrook also filed a campaign finance report listing $4,471 in contributions and $2,397 cash on hand. Patch has reached out to Varebrook for comment and we will update this story when we hear from her.