U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann has more cash than his competition for Tennessee's 3rd District congressional seat — but challenger Weston Wamp's campaign has out-raised him so far this year.
Fleischmann spokesman Jordan Powell said Tuesday the Ooltewah Republican has about $640,000 on hand, after raising $300,000 from Jan. 1 to March 31.
Fleischmann started the year with more than $405,000 banked in 2013 and has spent some $65,000 in "normal campaign expenses," Powell said.
Powell didn't have specific numbers, but he said "a vast majority" was slotted for the primary race against Wamp.
Meanwhile, Wamp started 2014 with nothing, and his campaign has raised $403,000 since January. Wamp has $370,000 on hand after expenses.
Numbers for both candidates are approximate, because first-quarter campaign finance reports were not yet posted by the Federal Election Commission by press time. The deadline to file reports was 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.
Fleischmann said in an emailed statement he was "humbled and immeasurably grateful" for the support.
"With these funds, I can continue to share my vision of a smaller and fiscally responsible federal government," he said.
But Wamp's camp isn't fazed by Fleischmann's war chest.
Marshall Brock, Wamp's campaign manager, questioned how much primary money Fleischmann actually had. All but $2,600 of Wamp's money is designated for the August primary.
Brock said at the rate they are raising funds, a $270,000 gap isn't that big.
"The big news for us is we gained $100,000 of ground in terms of primary funding," Brock said. "What this is going to say to anyone who's watching the race is we've got some momentum and we've got a message that's resonating."
Louie Brogdon began reporting with the Chattanooga Times Free Press in February 2013. Before he came to the Scenic City, Louie lived on St. Simons Island, Ga. and covered crime, courts, environment and government at the Brunswick News, a 17,000-circulation daily on the Georgia coast. While there, he was awarded for investigative reporting on police discipline and other law enforcement issues by the Georgia Press Association. For the Times Free Press, Louie covers Hamilton County ...