Things are even more interesting on the Republican side, though, as two strong candidates are poised to duke it out for the GOP nomination. On one hand is Lauren Turelli, who ran a strong race against Karen May last cycle (getting an appreciable percentage of the vote against the seemingly unbeatable May), and on the other, Dr. Mark Neerhof, who recently issued a press release touting his fundraising results for this past quarter.
According to Neerhof's press release, Neerhof raised/"invested" nearly $75,000 in a traditionally slow fundraising quarter. Neerhof is campaiging from a conservative platform, emphasizing tort reform, pension reform, and reversing the Democrats 66% state income tax increase. Neerhof also hit the mailboxes in the District with this piece:
Despite the fact that Tureli ran a good race against May last cycle, she apparently was not planning to challenge May again, instead opting for a county board run. With May's decision not to run, Turelli quickly reassessed the race, and decided to jump in after securing promises of support from many local prominent Republicans, as well as the House Republican Organization (HRO).
I spoke with Turelli's campaign chairman, attorney Mark Shaw, yesterday, and he told me that Turelli had raised more than $30,000, and pointed out several things about Neerhof's claimed numbers. First, according to the disclosure forms filed by Neerhof, $45,000 of that $75,000 noted above came from the candidate himself in the form of loans or contributions to the campaign. Second, the disclosures also reveal a small number of large contributions ($1,000 or more) from a small number of people (about 10 contributors). In contrast, said Shaw, Turelli's contributions came from almost 60 donors, and does not include any large loans or contributions from the candidate herself.
Shaw also told me, oficially, that "we're glad to see that there's a lot of interest in this race, which we believe is the result of Lauren's previous campaign against Karen May last cycle."
Shaw told me that, even with HRO in Turelli's corner, they were by no means resting on their laurels and counting on Turelli's name recognition and candidate profile to carry them through an easy primary. "She's going to continue campaiging on the issues she ran on last time, and we're going to be competitive in fundraising," he said. "She's out there working every day."