Oct 15, 2015 11:15 AM

Steinhauser-First on NH1 News: Guinta reveals third quarter fundraising figure

NH1 Political Director - NH1.com

CONCORD -- Congressman Frank Guinta raised just under $110,000 in the third quarter, NH1 News has learned.

And the Republican representative in the state’s 1st Congressional District has just over $350,000 cash on hand, according a top political adviser to Guinta.

The amount raised in the July through September period is slightly lower than the $118,000 he brought in during the second quarter of fundraising. The second quarter haul was much lower than what Guinta raised during the first three months of this year.

It was during the second quarter that the congressman’s campaign finance controversy dominated headlines. The Federal Election Commission ruled that a $355,000 loan from an account in his parents’ name that Guinta used to help boost his first election to Congress in 2010 was illegal.

Guinta used the money in the 2010 cycle to win a hard fought multi-candidate GOP primary, and then to defeat Democratic incumbent Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in the general election. The FEC declared the donation excessive and illegal, fining Guinta $15,000 and ordering him to repay the entire donation. Although Guinta has long insisted that the funds were his, in May he signed an agreement with the FEC in which he agreed to return the $355,000 and pay the fine.

Some top Granite State Republicans, such as Sen. Kelly Ayotte, state Senate President Chuck Morse, state House Speaker Shawn Jasper, and Executive Councilor Chris Sununu, all called on Guinta to step down. But he resisted those calls and is now running for re-election.

In an interview with NH1 News last month, Guinta predicted an improvement in fundraising, adding that “I’ve always felt that the politics and the campaign side will take care of itself.”

As for the campaign finance controversy, Guinta said “that’s resolved.”

A spokesman for the two-term representative predicted that "Congressman Guinta will have all the necessary resources to be successful in the coming year, and continue his exemplary service in office. This week alone he has held a job fair and will hold a town hall tomorrow on top of the bipartisan Heroin Task Force he started last week. This is in addition to the eight pieces of legislation he has introduced with eight different democrats. Make no mistake, Congressman Guinta is fighting to make Washington work for New Hampshire."

The reporting of Guinta’s third quarter fundraising figures comes a week after a University of New Hampshire poll conducted for WMUR indicated that half of 1st CD residents thought Guinta should resign. That figure’s up slightly from 44% in July. Half of those questioned in the new survey said they have an unfavorable view of the congressman, basically unchanged from July.

Only 20% said they would definitely vote or consider voting for Guinta in 2016, down slightly from the summer. Fifty-six percent said they would definitely vote for another candidate, unchanged from July.

Guinta will likely face a primary challenge from former congressional candidate Dan Innis, who recently stepped down as New Hampshire Republican Party finance chairman as he moves closer to a bid for Congress. Guinta defeated Innis in the 2014 GOP primary in the 1st CD.

Listen/Read: Guinta undaunted by poll numbers, carries on Congressional work

Rich Ashooh, the director of strategy and planning at BAE Systems who was recently named the interim executive director of the Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership and Public Policy, may also launch a primary challenge.

If he survives the primary, Guinta could face off for a fourth straight general election against Democrat Carol Shea-Porter. First elected to the seat in 2006, Shea-Porter was defeated by the then-former Manchester mayor in 2010. Shea-Porter came back to top Guinta in the 2012 election, but he once again won the seat back during the 2014 midterms.

Shea-Porter announced her bid last month. Bedford businessman Shawn O’Connor is also running for the Democratic nomination.


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