Moneywise, the race in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District between incumbent Rep. Chris Stewart and Democrat Charlene Albarran, looks close. However, a deeper dive into the numbers shows Albarran may struggle to keep up financially.
According to the latest financial reports with the FEC, Albarran took in $173,902 last quarter. But, Albarran loaned her campaign $150,000 during that period. That loan is in addition to the $50,000 she previously contributed to her campaign. Just $23,902 came in outside contributions last quarter.
Albarran, a former Miss Idaho pageant winner, spent freely during the last quarter on advertising to build name recognition. She spent nearly $36,000 alone with Love Communications on billboards and other marketing expenses, which is more than a third of her total outlay during the last reporting period.
Clearly, Albarran’s needs to up her fundraising game to maintain this level of spending. However, she could probably afford to make a few more six-digit donations to her efforts.
Albarran did not live in the district she’s seeking to represent until a few days before she officially filed for office when she rented an apartment in downtown Salt Lake City. Albarran still owns a multi-million dollar home in Park City that she says she will use on weekends and when family comes to town.
Albarran’s Republican opponent, Rep. Chris Stewart pulled in nearly half a million dollars during the same period, but $281,819 of that came from PACs, more than Albarran’s entire fundraising haul, including her loans to her campaign.
Stewart also spent more than Albarran raised in the last quarter with $313,903 in expenditures. Most of that spending seemed to be travel and campaign event related.
Stewart ended the quarter with $270,093 cash on hand while Albarran finished with $133,954 in the bank.
The good news for Albarran, if you can call it that, is she has already outraised Sen. Luz Escamilla who lost to Stewart in 2014. However, Stewart raised $758,000 in that winning effort, meaning Albarran has a lot of ground to make up.