Some 6th District candidates campaigning from own deep pockets

Andy East | The Republic

Some of the Republicans vying for their party’s nomination for Indiana’s 6th Congressional District in the May 7 primary are tapping into their own deep pockets to infuse their campaigns with cash, according to new campaign disclosures.

Three of the seven GOP candidates in the race have loaned their campaigns at least $700,000, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission that were current as of March 31.

Jefferson Shreve loaned his campaign $4.5 million, while state Rep. Mike Speedy loaned his campaign $1.3 million and Jamison Carrier loaned his campaign $700,550, federal records show.

Shreve reported spending the most money, just over $3 million, and headed into early voting with the largest war chest, reporting nearly $1.5 million in cash on hand as of March 31, the disclosures show. His loans accounted for all but $500 of his campaign funds.

Speedy reported raising nearly $1.34 million in receipts. Besides the money he loaned to his campaign, Speedy reported $39,465 in contributions, including one contribution from Rep. Todd Huston, the current speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives.

Speedy also reported spending $681,190 and had $658,274 in cash on hand as of March 31.

Carrier reported raising a total of $854,180. Besides loaning his campaign money, he reported $104,180 in contributions. He also reported spending $114,941 and had $739,238 in cash on hand as of the end of last month.

State Sen. Jeff Raatz reported raising $94,530, spending nearly $20,943 and had $73,587 in cash on hand at the end of the first quarter. He also loaned his campaign $5,000. John Jacob reported raising $20,831, spending $3,570 and had about $17,260 in cash on hand.

The other two in the race, Darin Childress and Bill Frazier, had not filed campaign finance reports with the FEC as of Thursday morning.

Candidates running for federal office are required to register with the FEC and file financial reports once they raise or spend more than $5,000. The April quarterly reports were due Monday.

This year, the Republican nomination for the district is wide-open after three-time incumbent Rep. Greg Pence, R-Ind., decided not to seek reelection. The winner will face Democrat Cinde Wirth in the fall election.

The 6th District includes Johnson County, as well as all or part of Bartholomew, Fayette, Hancock, Henry, Randolph, Rush, Shelby, Union and Wayne counties, as well as the southern townships of Marion County.

Median household income in the 6th District in 2022 was $69,426, with nearly 25% of all households in the district living off an annual income of less than $35,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Shreve reported spending $2.72 million on media or media production, while another $215,994 was spent on printing or postage.

Speedy reported spending $ 562,564 on media, media production, advertising and political strategy consulting. He also reported spending $53,201 on printing and postage.

Carrier reported spending $70,490 on media, $26,932 on signage and $4,210 on campaign apparel. Raatz reported spending $6,000 for fundraising consulting, $3,634 in printing and $1,819 in compliance consulting.

Jacob reported $3,570, including $1,444 on campaign signs, $410 on a communication platform to voters and $364 on Facebook ads.

However, the candidates on the ballot aren’t the only ones who have money in their campaign coffers.

Former GOP 6th District candidate Siddharth Mahant, who was kicked off the ballot by the Indiana Election Commission in February, had loaned his campaign $2 million as of the end of last year but still had $1.9 million in cash on hand as of March 31. Mahant’s campaign also issued $17,000 in refunds on March 28.

Despite not seeking reelection this year, Pence reported receiving contributions, federal records show.

One of the congressman’s political action committees, Greg Pence Victory, reported raising $32,763 during the first three months of the year, including a $25,000 contribution from Danny Huston of Parker City, Indiana, on Jan. 5 — just days before Pence said he would not seek reelection.

Greg Pence Victory also sent $16,735 to Greg Pence for Congress — his principal campaign committee — and $15,253 to Mustang PAC, which is Pence’s leadership PAC. Both of those transactions were described as “transfer of net proceeds.”

Greg Pence for Congress reported $25,037 in contributions this year, while Mustang Pac reported $20,253 in contributions. Both of those figures include the funds sent from Greg Pence Victory.

After Pence said he wouldn’t seek another term in Congress, his campaign issued refunds to several contributors, including Cummins Inc. Political Action Committee, which asked for a $2,000 refund.

Greg Pence for Congress reported about $323,094 in cash on hand as of March 31.