Under threat from the Republicans, U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, Iowa's lone Democrat, set a personal fundraising record for the first quarter after an election, taking in $258,846, federal records show.
As of March 30, the congressman had nearly $1.2 million in the bank, which also is a record for this time in the election cycle.
Loebsack, who represents Iowa's 2nd District, raised close to $124,000 from individuals and nearly $135,000 from political action committees for the three-month period, which ran from Jan. 1 through March 30. First-quarter financial reports were due to the Federal Election Commission over the weekend.
Loebsack's first-quarter haul exceeds the $197,000 he raised in the first quarter of 2015.
The Iowa City Democrat, who has never been the most prolific fundraiser, is expected to seek a seventh term next year. But he would do so in an unusual political climate. President Donald Trump won Iowa handily in last November's elections, including Iowa's 2nd District, which typically leans to the Democrats. That success has emboldened Republicans, whose political arm in the House has put Loebsack on its initial target list for the 2018 elections.
No Republican has announced a candidacy yet, but the state party has made clear the district is a priority. The Democrats' House political operation also has put the 2nd District seat on its radar screen.
This quarter's fundraising totals come on the heels of a rather tame election season for Loebsack. Last year, he went up against Republican Christopher Peters, who had little money or name recognition. As a result, the congressman spent only about $600,000 on the race, less than half of what he spent in either 2014 or in 2012. That allowed him to conserve cash, and he goes into this two-year cycle with far more money on hand than usual. Typically, he's had less than $200,000 on hand at this part of the campaign cycle, according to federal records.