Heitkamp's fourth-quarter fundraising far ahead of the pack

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WASHINGTON—Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., raised $1.3 million in the fourth quarter of last year, the largest amount raised by anyone chasing the seat she now holds.

Heitkamp's war chest is now at nearly $4.5 million, according to figures provided by her campaign. The Federal Election Commission has not yet publicly posted her more detailed financial report—which would include key donors and expenditures—but her campaign said she has raised $7.73 million so far this election cycle.

State Sen. Tom Campbell, R-Grafton, is the closest behind Heitkamp in recent fundraising. According to his campaign, he raised "nearly $450,000" during the past quarter, with "over $1 million since announcing his bid" in August. However, Campbell, a potato farmer, is expected to continue to use his considerable personal wealth to finance his campaign, and had previously loaned the campaign several hundred thousand dollars. His FEC report also has yet to be publicly posted.

Gary Emineth, a businessman and a former state Republican Party chairman, entered the race in recent weeks. His recent announcement means no forthcoming FEC report on his 2017 activity is expected. In an interview, he said he's only beginning to cash checks and fundraise in earnest this week.

Other candidates seeking the seat include Thomas O'Neill, who is running as a Republican, and Dustin Peyer, who is seeking Democratic-NPL endorsement. Both said they have not raised more than the $5,000 federal benchmark that requires financial reporting.