Financial support for Bouchard’s campaign dwindles | national news
When Wyoming Senator Anthony Bouchard announced he would seek to unseat Representative Liz Cheney, money quickly flowed into his campaign.
Bouchard was the first Republican to challenge Cheney after she voted to impeach former President Donald Trump. Within a week of his January 2021 announcement, his campaign had raised $50,000.
Since then, his fundraising has continued to decline while his cash on hand has dwindled, according to federal campaign finance records.
In the first three months of 2021, the state senator raised about $334,000 and had $164,000 in the bank. Fast forward a year to the first quarter of 2022, and Bouchard has raised just $10,500 and has just under $50,000 on hand.
The $10,500 is the smallest quarterly amount in his campaign since entering the race.
Bouchard said he has focused on his senatorial duties, rather than the campaign, in recent months. The Wyoming legislature was in session for parts of February and March.
“As we enter the real campaign season … we will reactivate it,” he said.
Bouchard joined the race just a week after Cheney’s impeachment vote. Announcing early allowed him to get ahead of the peloton.
The incendiary senator, who represents parts of Laramie and Goshen counties, is known for his combative and defiant political style. He was quick to attack fellow Republicans for not being conservative enough.
During last month’s budget session, his Senate colleagues voted to strip him of committee duties after accusing him of “using bullying tactics against members of the Senate and members of the public.”
“If we’re going to save America, we need fewer status quo Republicans,” he wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday.
Bouchard’s style attracted an audience, and in 2021 the state senator raised nearly $635,000. Of that amount, nearly 73% came from small individual donations, according to federal campaign finance records.
Nearly 11% of Bouchard’s money in 2021 came from donors who gave more than $2,000. These donations were worth just over $68,000. Donations between $200 and $2,000 represent the remainder of 2021 transportation.
The biggest source of financial support for the senator has come from Wyoming. About 8.6% or $55,000 came from donors who live here. Donations from Colorado, where Bouchard’s family spends time, accounted for nearly 4%. California and Florida, two states where Bouchard has connections, were close behind.
Bouchard experienced a sharp drop in donations during the fundraising quarter that ran from July to September. It raised $65,500, up from $213,000 in the previous three months.
In the middle of the second quarter of 2021, Bouchard made national headlines after it was revealed that he pregnant with a 14-year-old girl when he was 18 and living in Florida. He told the Star-Tribune that he married the girl when she was 15 and he was 19. They divorced a few years later.
As the state senator’s fundraising steadily declined, Cheney and Donald Trump’s choice for the Wyoming’s House seat, land attorney Harriet Hageman, broke personal fundraising records.
Cheney raised nearly $3 million in the first quarter of 2022 and Hageman raised over $1 million. Those numbers brought Hageman’s cash to $1.06 million and Cheney’s to $6.77 million.
In the August primary, Bouchard is expected to siphon off some of Hageman’s support, as the two compete for disgruntled Cheney voters. Additionally, there are two other Republican candidates who have raised funds and two more who are registered but have not raised donations. With seven candidates in the Republican primary, the winner could get less than 50% of the vote.
Bouchard was the most prominent Republican to stay in the race after Trump endorsed Hageman. He tried to portray her as no different from Cheney.
“Liz Cheney and Harriet Hageman both positioned themselves against each other, and I was someone who worked for the people,” he said.
The state senator also posted photos of Cheney and Hageman together — taken before the campaign — to illustrate his point.