April 12, 2008
Interview with Michael Skelly

Josh Berthume has a nice chat with CD07 challenger Michael Skelly. For those of you who first heard about Skelly from his awesome fundraising numbers and wondered if he was for real, here's your chance to hear for yourself.

Meanwhile, IVR Polls did a survey of CD07 and blogged it at the Swing State Project. It's basically a generic D-versus-R poll at this point, given the relative levels of name recognition. Interestingly, for a district that's supposedly solid red and which needs 60% GOP performance or better to save their bacon at the countywide level, the Republicans appear to have their work cut out for them. They're in a good position to hold Culberson's seat - right now, anyway - but as they themselves have said, they need a lot more than that.

One thing they'll need is money, and Culberson is trying to do something about that.

U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, appears to have struck gold with the campaign fundraising pitch that he faces his hardest re-election challenge, but he still lags significantly behind Democratic challenger Michael Skelly at the bank.

Culberson reeled in more than $260,000 in campaign contributions in the six weeks ending March 31, a fifth of it from the political action committees of energy companies, law firms, manufacturers, physicians and others, according to new disclosures to the Federal Election Commission.

In the previous six weeks he raised $35,000.

Skelly, a wind power executive making his first run for public office, has not yet filed his latest financial disclosure before Tuesday's deadline.

But a campaign aide said Skelly's report will show he has raised about $400,000 in the last six weeks, to go along with a like amount in the first part of the year.

Already one of the best-financed Democratic challengers in House races across the country, Skelly has indicated he will put some of his personal wealth into the campaign later this year as well.

Having twice as much money as Culberson in the campaign treasury can give Skelly an advantage in buying advertising, assembling a campaign staff, conducting polls and other campaign functions.

The figures put Skelly in the unusual position of having a richer campaign than the Republican incumbent in a Republican-friendly congressional district.

My understanding is that Skelly's goal for the entire quarter was once $400K, which is what he raised in just the last six weeks. I'd say Culberson has his work cut out for him in this department.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 12, 2008 to Election 2008