Vernon raises more than $1.6 million in Iowa 1st District race

Updated numbers from Blum campaign not yet available

U.S. House candidates Rod Blum and Monica Vernon.
U.S. House candidates Rod Blum and Monica Vernon.

CEDAR RAPIDS — U.S. House 1st District challenger Monica Vernon is reporting that she has topped $1.6 million in campaign fundraising for the 2016 election cycle.

Vernon, a Cedar Rapids Democrat, announced this morning she raised $374,000 in the most recent quarter to bring her fundraising total for the election cycle to just more than $1.66 million from more than 5,000 donors. She has $354,000 cash on hand heading into the November general election.

Vernon is challenging first-term Republican Rep. Rod Blum of Dubuque, who, according to Roll Call, is considered the most vulnerable Republican in the U.S. House. Democrats hold a voter registration advantage of approximately 26,000 in a district carried twice by Barack Obama, including by 14 percent in 2012.

After Vernon’s primary victory with 67 percent of the vote, the Cook Political Report changed its rating of the race from “tossup” to “leans Democratic.”

Blum hasn’t reported his fundraising numbers. However, although Vernon has outraised Blum for four consecutive fundraising quarters, Blum had raised nearly $1.5 million and had $1.28 million cash on hand at the end of the previous reporting period.

In the Democratic primary, Vernon raised three times as much as her opponent.

The Blum campaign expects to release its numbers before the end of the week.

l Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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