Democratic Congressional nominee Charles Dumas is facing an uphill battle to fund his run against Rep. Glenn Thompson.
Dumas has raised significantly fewer funds in his attempt to unseat the second-term congressman.
Dumas, a Penn State professor in the School of Theatre, received $5,266 compared to Thompson’s $943,961 during the period from April 1 to June 30, according to the most recent Federal Election Commission filing.
The next filing deadline, covering the fundraising period from July 1 to Sept. 30, is not until Oct. 15.
Dumas said the filing was before he started gaining major support. His campaign has raised between $17,000 and $18,000, and he donated $5,000 of his own money, he said.
He also said he plans to host a big fundraiser with his friends from the film and television industry at The State Theatre, 130 W. College Ave., just before the election.
He said he hasn’t been able to garner much student support, in part because his role as professor prevents him from openly campaigning on campus. Students have to approach him, rather than him soliciting them, Dumas said.
Drew McGehrin, Penn State College Democrats president, said the group would support Dumas, along with the rest of the Democratic nominees, through canvassing and phone banking.
Thompson said he doesn’t see it as a competition. He’s humbled and thankful for the support of individuals and groups who choose to support him through volunteer hours or financial contributions, he said.
“I work hard, I do the right things and communicate,” Thompson said. “I’m appreciative if […] that motivates individuals and groups of people to support my campaign.”
Thompson has a history of fundraising prowess. In 2008, he raised more than $300,000 more than his opponent, Mark McCracken, when he won the open congressional seat, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In his re-election bid against Michael Pipe in 2010, Thompson raised more than $1 million, also according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Thompson said most of his support comes from individuals and groups who recognize his values and areas of leadership, like education, healthcare and agriculture.
Despite Thompson’s financial edge, Dumas said he’s confident he can run an effective campaign. He’s been attending county fairs around the district to hear problems and develop solutions based on input from ordinary people.
“We’re not ever going to be able to raise as much as Congressman Thompson,” Dumas said. “At the same time, we’re going to be able to raise enough to run our campaign the way we want, because we’re basing our campaign on going around and meeting people face to face.”
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