(See ELECT for more news about the 2012 elections.)
Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Democrats, who must defend eight of the 11 governorships on November’s ballot, enter 2012 at a fundraising disadvantage after the Republican Governors Association more than doubled its Democratic counterpart’s contributions last year.
The Republican governors raised $44 million in 2011, compared with about $20 million for the Democratic Governors Association, the groups said in separate statements. Both organizations said they raised record amounts last year. Their formal filings are due at the Internal Revenue Service at the end of the month.
In the 2010 elections, Democrats retained governorships in Kentucky and West Virginia, while Republicans kept seats in Louisiana and Mississippi. The two governors’ groups are led by chief executives of neighboring states -- Maryland’s Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, and Virginia’s Bob McDonnell, a Republican.
Of the 50 state governorships, Republicans hold 29 and Democrats have 20. Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee is an independent.
Both organizations reported that their 2011 fundraising exceeded their takes for 2007, the previous year that preceded a presidential election. The RGA raised $22 million in 2007 and the DGA brought in $13 million, IRS records show.
Cash on Hand
Going into 2012, the Republican group said it had almost $27 million in the bank.
“This year, the RGA will be on offense in eight of 11 states scheduled to hold governors’ races, and is in position to make game-changing investments in our races, including those in critical presidential and Senate battleground states,” McDonnell said in a statement.
The DGA didn’t disclose how much cash it had, and calls seeking comment weren’t immediately returned.
“Because of our strong efforts in 2011, we will have the resources to aid Democratic candidates in targeted states and continue to fight for our core priorities: Jobs. Opportunity. Now,” O’Malley said in a statement.
The top donors to the Republican governors through June 30 were David Koch, executive vice president of Wichita, Kansas- based Koch Industries Inc., and Terry Stephens, owner of Stephens Pipe & Steel LLC in Russell Springs, Kentucky. Each gave $1 million.
The Democratic group received $265,000 from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the drug industry’s Washington-based trade group, and $250,000 apiece from New York-based drugmaker Pfizer Inc. and Exelon Corp., a utility company based in Chicago.
--Editors: Bob Drummond, Leslie Hoffecker
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