Summer Lee’s $1M fourth quarter tops the Pennsylvania House delegation

The next-highest Q4 raise among Pa. members of Congress was Democrat Matt Cartwright

By: and - February 1, 2024 8:55 am

Pennsylvania U.S. Rep. Summer Lee, D-12th District (photo via Summer Lee campaign)

U.S. Rep. Summer Lee (D-12th District) raised more money in the fourth quarter than any other member of the Pennsylvania U.S. House delegation, new campaign finance records show. 

Lee raised $1,021,653 from the beginning of October to the end of December, and spent just under $104,000. She ended the quarter with $1,171,000 cash on hand. Her fourth quarter haul is a significant increase from the previous quarter; her campaign raised just under $180,000 in Q3

Lee is facing Edgewood Borough Councilmember Bhavini Patel and Laurie MacDonald, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh-based nonprofit Center for Victims, in her bid for reelection. 

Patel raised $311,310 in the fourth quarter and spent about $93,776, with $238,112 cash on hand. 

Republican challenger James Hayes raised only $2,100 in the fourth quarter. 

MacDonald joined the race in January and will file her first campaign finance report in April. 

Lee was the first Black woman ever elected to represent Pennsylvania in Congress, following a bruising campaign in 2022, when AIPAC-funded super PAC United Democracy Project backed Lee’s opponents in the primary and general elections, including ads suggesting she was not a good Democrat.  The same super PAC reportedly targeted Lee and several other progressive Democrats, with a plan to spend $100 million against them.

Lee’s campaign noted that her massive fundraising haul came without the support of any corporate PAC money, which she has refused to take since the start of her political career. 

The three Democrats faced off in a spirited candidates’ forum on Sunday in Pittsburgh, with Lee and Patel trading barbs over each other’s knowledge of international affairs and positions on Israel. MacDonald took heat after the debate for a comment that residents of the district “live in squalor.” 

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-8th District) had the second-highest fourth-quarter haul among Pennsylvania’s House delegation, raising just over $790,000. Cartwright does not have a primary challenger for his reelection bid and appears likely to face Republican Rob Bresnahan for the district in Northeast Pennsylvania. The Cook Political Report rates the race for the 8th Congressional District as a “toss up,” while the 12th District is in the “solid Democrat” column.  

This story will be updated


Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

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.

Kim Lyons
Kim Lyons

Kim Lyons is a veteran western Pennsylvania journalist who has covered people and trends in politics and business for local and national publications. Follow her on Threads @social_kimly