The Lead

Cartwright fundraising edges out Bresnahan in PA8

By: - February 1, 2024 3:11 pm

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright D-8th District (Photo via Cartwright campaign)

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-8th District) posted his strongest quarter of 2023 in the final three months of the year, and with Republican challenger Rob Bresnahan’s filing, the race for the Northeast Pennsylvania district is shaping up to be an expensive one.

Cartwright’s campaign raised just over $790,000 from the beginning of October to the end of December, while spending slightly more than $195,000, campaign finance records show. He entered January with $2 million on hand, which is more than he had at this point in the previous cycle. In January 2022, his campaign had just under $1.6 million on hand. 

In Q3, Cartwright led Pennsylvania’s U.S. House delegation by raising just over $740,000. In Q2 he raised just under $525,000 and just under $540,000 in Q1

Cartwright’s campaign has now raised $2.6 million so far this cycle, trailing only U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-1st District), who raised $3.27 million in the same time period.  

Bresnahan, a businessman, raised just over $695,000 in Q4, which includes a $400,000 loan he gave to his own campaign. Bresnahan’s haul, even without the loan, is more than any other Republican challenger in Pennsylvania raised this quarter. 

His campaign spent $60,000 since entering the race and entered January with $636,000 cash on hand.

As of Feb. 1, Bresnahan is the only Republican to file to run for the 8th District.

In previous cycles, multiple candidates have competed for the GOP nomination to take on Cartwright. If Bresnahan remains the only candidate for the GOP nomination in the 8th District, he will be able to focus on saving money for the general election. 

The race for the 8th Congressional District for the past few cycles has been a top priority for national Republicans and is shaping up to be once again in 2024. 

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has placed Cartwright on its 2024 target list. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) also placed the Lackawanna County Democrat in its “Frontline Program” aimed at protecting incumbent House Democrats it considers most at risk this cycle. 

Former President Donald Trump carried the current boundaries of the 8th District in 2016 and 2020, the only Democrat-represented Congressional district in Pennsylvania to have that distinction. Biden’s boyhood home of Scranton is also in Cartwright’s district. 

The Cook Political Report and Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball both rate the race for the 8th District as a toss-up.

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John Cole
John Cole

John Cole is a journalist based in Philadelphia. He's worked for various outlets such as The Northeast Times, PoliticsPA, and PCN. In these previous roles, he covered a wide range of topics from local civic association meetings to races across the commonwealth. He earned a degree in journalism from Temple University.

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