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John Thune has more campaign cash than anyone else in Congress
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John Thune has more campaign cash than anyone else in Congress


The latest quarterly reports to the Federal Election Commission show that U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota, has a bigger balance in his campaign account than any other member of Congress.

Thune’s balance is $12,525,824. The next highest is $10.79 million held by the campaign account of Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, according to a chart published by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Thune won election to the Senate in 2004. In the 16 years since then, he has steadily raised campaign money without having to spend much of it. Nobody ran against him in 2010, and he cruised to re-election in 2016 against a Democratic opponent who raised only $70,500. Thune won’t face re-election again until 2022.

For some perspective on how much money Thune has in his campaign account, consider this:

  • He invests some of his campaign money, and those investments have produced $1,091,011.51 worth of interest and dividends so far during the 2019-2020 election cycle, according to his October quarterly FEC report.
  • Only one South Dakota candidate, Sen. Mike Rounds, has been able to raise more money from all sources so far this election cycle ($1,656,716.88) than Thune has raked in from interest and dividends alone.
  • Only five South Dakota cities, Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Watertown, Aberdeen and Brookings, collect more money annually from sales taxes than Thune currently has in his campaign account.
  • Thune could cover the combined expenditures of the 2018 gubernatorial campaigns of Republican Kristi Noem and Democrat Billie Sutton, and still have more than $1 million leftover.
  • Thune’s campaign cash on hand is nearly 8 times that of Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota; 1,284 times that of Rounds’ fellow Republican challenger, Scyller Borglum; 10,841 times that of their potential Democratic opponent, Dan Ahlers; and 29 times that of Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-South Dakota.
  • Thune has approximately $10.5 million more cash on hand than all other current congressional candidates in South Dakota combined (Rounds, Borglum, Ahlers and Johnson have a combined $2,061,700.26 cash on hand; no fundraising data exists yet on several other potential South Dakota congressional candidates).
  • Thune has more cash on hand than some current Democratic presidential candidates have raised during the entirety of their campaigns, including Tulsi Gabbard ($9.1 million) and Julian Castro ($7.63 million).
  • If Thune divided his campaign cash evenly among every one of South Dakota’s currently estimated 882,235 residents, each of them would receive $14.20.

Contact Seth Tupper at

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