By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
Of the three top candidates for Wyoming’s lone U.S House seat, only the campaign of incumbent U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney received money from political action committees during the first quarter of the year, according to federal reports.
Cheney, who will be seeking her fourth congressional term in office in 2022, received $301,000 in contributions from political action committees in the first three months of 2021.
Cheney’s two chief opponents in the Republican primary for the office, state Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Casper, and state Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, have received no donations from PACs, according to federal campaign documents.
The reports showed that Cheney raised almost $1.54 million in the first quarter of the year, compared to Bouchard’s $334,165 and Gray’s contributions of $40,154.
A fourth candidate in the campaign, Marissa Joy Selvig, has raised $1,968, according to her FEC filings.
According to the documents filed last week, at least 41 organizations identified in their names as political action committees have donated to Cheney’s re-election campaign.
A political action committee is a group formed to represent individuals with shared interests or business concerns to donate money to the campaigns of candidates they feel will act in the best interests of their industries or concerns.
Among the groups contributing to Cheney were the Air Line Pilots Association, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the National Beer Wholesalers, Dow Chemicals and the National Association of Broadcasters, each of which donated $5,000 to Cheney’s campaign.
The Bluegrass Committee, a PAC formed by U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, also donated $5,000, as did the health care companies CVS Health and HCA Healthcare.
Other donors included Best Buy ($1,500), The Gap ($1,000), pharmaceutical company Merck ($1,000), and the Value in Electing Women PAC ($5,000).The Oneida Indian Nation gave Cheney’s campaign $5,800 in two donations, while the Northern Arapaho Indian Tribe donated $3,000.
The two donations from the Northern Arapaho Tribe were among 47 received from Wyoming sources in 2021, according to the FEC filings. Donors listed as contributing to Cheney’s campaign included her parents, former U.S. Rep. Dick Cheney and Lynne Cheney, who donated a total of $11,200.
Also donating were former Wyoming House Speaker Randall Luthi, R-Freedom, and former Wyoming Attorney General Gay Woodhouse.
Total donations from all individuals contributing to Cheney’s campaign totaled almost $1.02 million.
Of those donations, $167,065 was not identified as coming from a particular donor. The threshold for donors to be identified is $200, according to the FEC, and many candidates choose not to identify those donating less than $200.
If a large number of contributions of less than $50 is made at a political event, the total amount collected may also be included in the “unitemized” category on the FEC report.
Cheney received 1,221 contributions from identified donors in the first quarter of the year, the reports said.
Meanwhile, all of Bouchard’s donations came from individuals, according to his filings.
Bouchard, who announced his challenge of Cheney after she voted to impeach former President Donald Trump on allegations he incited a mob to invade the U.S. Capitol in January, reported he had received $334,370 in 210 donations.
Of those donations, 52 came from Wyoming individuals. Individual contributions coming from unidentified donors totaled $230,295.
Gray’s report showed he received $40,154 from donors, including $34,300 from identified donors and $5,854 from donors who were not identified.
Of Gray’s 36 identified donations, 28 were from Wyoming sources.