This story is developing and will be updated as more information comes to light.
Sunday night marked the end of the second quarter, an important milestone in congressional races. The FEC requires candidates to report their fundraising progress quarterly, and Q2 numbers are used by activists to determine the viability of different candidates.
Across the country, young insurgent candidates have launched campaigns against entrenched centrist incumbents, many of which have held their respective seats for 20+ years. As the centrists of the country continue to focus on a policy agenda consisting solely of “beating trump”, candidates running in blue districts often lack institutional support afforded to those running in “battleground districts.” This lack of institutional support means these campaigns are on their own when it comes to organizing and fundraising.
Despite the lack of institutional support and refusing to take corporate PAC donations, several insurgent campaigns around the country managed to hit impressive fundraising goals by the deadline Sunday. For comparison, Ocasio-Cortez had raised around $1,450 by the end of Q2 2017, and $11,464 by the end of Q3.
Mckayla Wilkes, a 28 year old challenging Steny Hoyer in Maryland’s 5th congressional district, closed out the quarter with an astounding $50,000 raised. In April, Wilkes told the intercept she was hoping to merely clear $25,000 by the end of the month, making her sprint to the $50k milestone even more impressive. (Disclosure, Wilkes was also recently formally endorsed by YoungPAC, my Political-Action-Commitee tasked with electing young progressive candidates to office).
Joshua Collins, a 25 year-old socialist truck driver running in Washington’s 10th district reported Monday morning he easily surpassed his Q2 goal of $20K, raising $24.5k entirely through small online donations. Perhaps even more impressive, Collins announced Sunday night he has received an astounding 8 million impressions in the last month on twitter.
Robert Emmons Jr, a 26 year-old running in Illinois’ 1st Congressional District reported Monday morning his campaign blew through their Q2 fundraising goal. (Disclosure, Emmons was also recently endorsed by YoungPAC).
Agatha Bacelar, a 27 year-old challenging Nancy Pelosi earned an impressive $29K in Q2, easily clearing her fundraising target of $25K and bringing her total amount raised to over $32K. Bacelar’s campaign has been quickly gathering steam since a Vice article about her was published earlier this month.
Lauren Ashcraft, a JP Morgan Project manager and comedian running in New York’s 12th district reported she was able to meet her $10K Q2 fundraising goal. Ashcraft’s fundraising strategies included hosting a stand-up comedy event, Women on Stage for Women in Congress.
Amanda Frankel, a former associate director at Stoic Capital running in New York’s 10th district, reported Monday morning she was able to clear her Q2 fundraising goal of $14k following a flurry of donations Sunday night.
The strong early support for so many young candidates running for office is an indicator young people across the country are growing increasingly dissatisfied with establishment politicians, and are ready and willing to take matters into their own hands.