Stroebel mostly funds US House campaign himself


July 16, 2014

SHEBOYGAN - State Sen. Joe Leibham has raised $300,000 for his run for the Wisconsin congressional seat now held by retiring Republican Rep. Tom Petri, while state Rep. Duey Stroebel is personally paying for most of his bid, according to a campaign finance reports filed Tuesday.

Leibham and Stroebel face state Sen. Glenn Grothman and Tom Denow, a technical college instructor, in an Aug. 12 Republican primary. The winner will take on Democratic Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris in the November general election.

Fundraising can be an indicator of a candidate's support, and first-time candidates who are not well-known often need money to advertise and improve their name recognition throughout their congressional district.

Leibham's campaign touted the fact that most of his donations came from individuals living in the 6th District.

"My message of creating an economic friendly environment for job creators, reducing and lowering our taxes, and repealing and replacing Obamacare is resonating with the voters of the 6th Congressional District," Leibham, who lives in Sheboygan, said in a statement.

Stroebel, who has significant real estate and business holdings, raised a little more than $26,000 but loaned his campaign more than $340,000.

"The hard work I've invested in my small business has allowed me to make a personal investment in this race, which is a reflection of my commitment to the people of Wisconsin's 6th district," the Saukville resident said in a statement. He also took a jab at Leibham for $19,500 in donations from political action committees, including the influential Tavern League of Wisconsin.

"Unlike the typical career politician, I will be beholden to no one but the voters," Stroebel said.

Tuesday was the deadline for filing reports for the quarter that ended June 30 with the Federal Election Commission. Grothman and Denow's reports were not yet posted late Tuesday afternoon.

Leibham spent about $26,000 and finished the quarter with about $280,000 in cash on hand. He loaned his campaign $10,000 of his own money and had debts of about $46,000, including money owed to staff members.

Stroebel spent more than $190,000 during the quarter that ended June 30, leaving his campaign with about $177,000 in the bank. His only debt was to himself.

Harris, who does not face a primary, has raised about $37,000, according to his campaign's report.

Associated Press