116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — Iowa Democrats are off to a rocky start when it comes to funding the party’s 2022 campaign for governor.
Incumbent Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds’ campaign finished 2021 with nearly $4.8 million in her campaign account, according to new state fundraising reports published Wednesday.
Deidre DeJear, who has the highest profile among Democratic gubernatorial candidates, finished the year with just more than $8,500 in her campaign account.
Reynolds’ campaign raised nearly $3.8 million in 2021 — more than 13 times what DeJear raised.
DeJear’s campaign raised nearly $280,000 in 2021, but spent nearly $271,000 to run her campaign.
Wednesday was the deadline for state candidates and political parties to file campaign fundraising reports for the 2021 calendar year.
Earlier this week, Reynolds’ campaign issued a news release on her 2021 fundraising numbers, claiming both set records for Iowa fundraising for state office.
Reynolds won her first election in 2018 by just less than 3 percentage points, a year after being promoted from lieutenant governor. She has not yet officially announced her re-election campaign, but is widely expected to do so.
Going into 2022 with just more than $8,500 in her campaign account could make it difficult for DeJear to mount an effective challenge against Reynolds in the general election. And before DeJear even gets there, she still has to win the Democratic nomination.
In a video posted to social media Wednesday, DeJear said her campaign received more than 7,300 individual donations and that more than 5,000 were from individuals who donated $5 or $10, with an average contribution of $38.
“It was very challenging raising money last year for this campaign. But each and every one of you all dug deep,” DeJear said in the video. “We are so grateful that you are digging deep for the future of this state.”
DeJear, from Des Moines, is a businesswoman and was the Democratic candidate for Iowa secretary of state in 2018.
The only other Democratic candidate for governor is Kim West, an attorney from Des Moines whose 2021 report was not pasted as of 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Iowa’s 2022 primary election is June 7; the general election is Nov. 8.
In other races, Republican treasurer candidate Roby Smith reported raising nearly $135,000 in 2021, and finishing the year with nearly $145,000 in his campaign account.
Smith, a Davenport businessman and state legislator, is challenging longtime incumbent and Democrat Mike Fitzgerald, the longest-serving state treasurer in U.S. history.
Smith’s 2021 haul was more than eight times that from Fitzgerald, who reported raising just more than $16,000 in 2021, finishing the year with roughly $50,000 in his campaign account.
Smith highlighted that his cash on hand total of nearly $145,000 is more than the roughly $144,000 Fitzgerald has raised over the past 10 years.
“The race is on. Fitzgerald’s anemic fundraising report coupled with his reliance on money from East Coast liberals is indicative of Iowans’ desire for a change in the treasurer’s office,” Smith said in a campaign news release.
Jack Whitver, the Republican Senate majority leader from Ankeny, reported raising more than $547,000 in 2021.
Legislative leaders often use their campaign funds to assist other statehouse candidates from their political party.
Senate Minority Leader Zach Wahls, D-Coralville, reported raising $233,000 and finishing the year with more than $219,000.
House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, reported raising nearly $394,000 and finished the year with more than $335,000 in his account.
House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst, D-Windsor Heights, reported raising $110,000 and finishing the year with more than $103,000.
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