EXCLUSIVE – House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has gotten off to a fast start in building an impressive war chest as he aims to expand the Republican majority in the chamber in next year’s election.
McCarthy raised $35 million in the first quarter of 2023 from January to March, according to figures first disclosed to Fox News on Wednesday. McCarthy’s quarterly earnings beat his previous record of $31.5 million collected in the first quarter of last year and mark the most cash raked in by a House Republican in a three-month period.
The speaker, known as one of Washington DC’s most prolific fundraisers, personally raised $150 million in the last election cycle to help Republicans regain control of the House of Representatives.
Republicans controlled the House majority for eight years before Democrats retook the chamber in midterms 2018. Two years later, in the 2020 election, the GOP defied expectations and took a large chunk of the Democrat majority.
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The GOP won a majority in the November 2022 election, but hopes of a red wave never materialized and the party holds on to a fragile majority of 222-213. That means Democrats need a net gain of just five seats over the next year to regain control of the chamber.
“When we won back the House of Representatives, we promised to honor our commitment to America and put our nation back on track. We kept our word. Our conference is united and changing Congress for the better,” McCarthy said in a statement to Fox News.
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“Our work represents a new direction and a better approach, and the American people are taking note of that. I want to thank our supporters for their historic generosity as we begin our mission to expand the Republican majority in the House of Representatives in 2024,” the spokesman added.
After McCarthy won a majority in the House of Representatives in November’s midterm elections, he had yet to garner his party’s support as he fought his way through five days of a historic 15-round speaker election earlier in the year. With nominal donations received during the battle for the speaker’s gavel, first-quarter fundraising was delayed by almost a week.
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But McCarthy apparently made up for lost time quickly when his team told Fox News that he was raising an average of over $400,000 a day after taking the post as speaker of the House of Representatives. McCarthy raised a staggering $12.3 million at his first major fundraiser, held at a downtown DC hotel in early February.
McCarthy’s team also announced a surge in grassroots support, with nearly $150,000 coming from small online donations from all 50 states. Though he’s now Speaker of the House, McCarthy has maintained his busy campaign travel schedule. His aides say when the House was not in session in the first quarter, McCarthy spent 37 days on the road, visiting eight states to raise funds and helping candidates launch their respective campaigns.
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The Speaker’s aides point out that during the first three months of the year, McCarthy distributed $4 million to House Republicans facing a difficult re-election in 2024 and another $5 million to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC ), the House of Representatives GOP campaign, were referred arm.
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