Eleven Democratic senators or candidates running for the Senate this year have received the maximum $43,100 donation from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to a documents the political group filed with the Senate public records office.
The DSCC, which oversees strategy for defending the Democrats’ 53-47 Senate majority in the November elections, “maxed out” last month to Senators Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. All face competitive re-election campaigns this year; Stabenow is running for a third six-year term and McCaskill, Tester and Brown are seeking their second.
Former Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, Representative Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona in Arizona also received the maximum contribution last month. Democrats are the defending party in all four states except for Arizona, where Republican Jon Kyl is retiring. None has a serious primary opponent except for Hirono, who’s up against former Representative Ed Case in an August Democratic balloting.
Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, who’s seeking a third term, and Representatives Shelley Berkley of Nevada and Joe Donnelly of Indiana, who are seeking seats Republican incumbents are defending, got $43,100 last year.
The list of 11 doesn’t include Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who received the maximum donation before announcing his retirement last December. Kerrey is seeking his seat.
The donations signal which candidates are preferred by party insiders and most in need of campaign funds, though the amounts pale in comparison to the tens of millions of dollars that the DSCC and its partisan opposite, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, will spend on “independent expenditures” to promote their preferred candidates and attack the opposition.