Pence fundraising tops $600k thanks to C.P. billionaire

2013-07-23T13:26:00Z 2013-07-23T18:02:14Z Pence fundraising tops $600k thanks to C.P. billionaireBy Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com

INDIANAPOLIS | A large donation from a Crown Point billionaire helped Gov. Mike Pence raise $601,631.07 in campaign funds during the first half of the year.

Dean White, whose billboard and hotel companies produced an estimated net worth of $1.8 billion, gave the first-year Republican governor $100,000 six days before the end of the reporting period, according to campaign finance disclosure records.

It was Pence's biggest donation between Jan. 1 and June 30 and came as Pence's campaign manager Kyle Robertson, now executive director of the Indiana Republican Party, pleaded with donors to "stand with Team Pence today and help us show our opponents just how strong we really are."

Another top donor, retired Eli Lilly CEO Randall Tobias, gave Pence $10,000 May 7, shortly after the prohibition on campaign fundraising during the legislative session expired. Pence named Tobias an Indiana University trustee June 20.

Pence spent $223,358.96 during the six-month period, mostly on bills remaining from his 2012 campaign, according to the records. Pence also donated some of his funds to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ($3,800) and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez ($2,500), both Republicans.

Pence has $494,901.87 remaining in his campaign account, the records show.

In comparison, former Gov. Mitch Daniels raised $353,538.47 -- which is $422,766.26 in 2013 dollars -- during his first six months in office.

Secretary of State Connie Lawson led all other statewide elected officials in donations during the first half of the year, bringing in $37,556.76. The Republican now has $226,885.65 cash on hand for her 2014 campaign.

Term-limited State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who has hinted he may try to win the state auditor or secretary of state nomination at the 2014 Republican convention, raised just $1,500 between January and June from a single Aspen, Colo., donor.

Mourdock has $1,513.97 in cash and debts of $11,611.98 in his campaign account.

Fundraising also was modest for Glenda Ritz, the Democratic state superintendent of public instruction, and Republican Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who both don't have to run again until 2016.

Ritz raised $36,500 and has $66,053.72 cash on hand, along with debts of $57,500. Zoeller took in $502.48 and has $159,753.10 in his campaign account.

State Auditor Tim Berry raised $50 and closed his campaign account July 15 prior to his election Monday as chairman of the Indiana Republican Party.

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