Editor's Note: Each week, ActBlue will release key statistics from campaigns across the country, along with brief biographical notes on the week's Top 10 candidates.* When we have information that may help to explain why a candidate has had increased activity on ActBlue, we will provide it in italics below the biography. Descriptive content reproduced in the ActBlue Campaign Newswire is collated from publicly available sources. ActBlue does not take sides in any Democratic primary. You can subscribe to the RSS feed of the Campaign Newswire at http://campaignnewswire.blogspot.
1. Rick Noriega | TX-Sen | $52,661.37
2. Kay Hagan | NC-Sen | $17,725.67
3. Judy Baker | MO-09 | $16,815.00
4. Gary Peters | MI-09 | $15,000.00
5. Nikki Tinker | TN-09 | $13,306.00
6. Mark Warner | VA-Sen | $12,665.00
7. Jon Powers | NY-26 | $12,040.00
8. Dan Seals | IL-10 | $10,787.82
9. Steve Gaw | MO-09 | $10,245.00
10. Mark Schauer | MI-07 | $8,645.00
1. Rick Noriega (TX-Sen)
Noriega is certainly no newcomer to ActBlue success, and has once again jumped to the top of our Top 10 list. After Noriega's Army tour in Afghanistan, the two-term Texas state representative and Lieutenant Colonel was appointed Incident Commander of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in Houston, Texas. He's now running against Republican incumbent John Cornyn for the Texas Senate seat, and a June 26 Texas Lyceum poll shows the candidates in a statistical "dead heat."
The momentum behind Noriega's campign keeps growing, as more high-profile Democrats continue to speak to Texas on his behalf. At a Dallas fundraiser on July 16, former NATO supreme allied commander and retired four-star general Wesley Clark spoke to nearly 700 Noriega supporters, encouraging them to support Noriega: "A force is moving here in Texas," said General Clark, "a force that will put Texas back on course, and that force is led by Rick Noriega." Virginia Senator Jim Webb and Montana Senator Jon Tester, who were both beneficiaries of General Clark's support during their own elections, have collectively raised over $20,000 for Noriega's campaign since June.
Bloggers are another driving force behind Noriega's high numbers from last week. The Daily Kos ActBlue page, Orange to Blue, and a network of Texas bloggers who have dubbed themselves "Netroots for Noriega," provided boosts to Noriega's fundraising total last week.
2. Kay Hagan (NC-Sen)
Hagan is running against Republican incumbent Elizabeth Dole and was recently named one of the "top ten most effective state senators" by the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research (NCCPPR). After winning the Democratic primary in May with 60 percent of the vote, the five-term North Carolina state senator continues to pick up high-profile endorsements. This is her second week in a row at the number two spot on our Top 10 list.
A continually strong fundraiser on ActBlue, Kay Hagan recently announced fundraising totals topping $1.6 million in the second quarter of the year, narrowing the fundraising gap with Republican incumbent Elizabeth Dole and attracting national media attention. Last weekend, Hagan supporters knocked on the doors of residents in seven North Carolina counties to collect food for local food banks and build support for Hagan. The Hagan campaign called this effort the "Canvass for Canned Food" drive, and helped boost the diminishing supplies of food banks and Hagan's total for the week.
3. Judy Baker (MO-09)
Baker is running for the Democratic nomination in Missouri's 9th District. Through her work as a state representative in Missouri, the National Conference of State Legislatures recognized Baker as an "Emerging Health Care Leader." After receiving a master's degree in divinity, Baker returned to Missouri and worked in the health care industry, becoming a successful businesswoman and starting her own consulting firm. An active member of her community, Baker served as part-time administrative director for ACTS International, a non-profit, humanitarian organization. Baker will face Steve Gaw, Ken Jacob, and Lyndon Bode in Missouri's August primary.
After appearing in our first Campaign Newswire Top 10 at the beginning of June, Baker is back. Many of her contributions from last week bought TV airtime for the campaign to run commercials. In a creative use of an ActBlue event page, the campaign created a page titled, "Crucial TV Time," on which donors could direct their contributions to buy airtime on specific networks and even for particular television shows.
4. Gary Peters (MI-09)
Gary Peters is running against Republican incumbent Joe Knollenberg for Michigan's 9th District congressional seat. Peters has held impressive posts in the public and private sectors, and in the military. While serving in the state Senate, Peters was the Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus, and the ranking Democrat on many prominent Senate committees, including the Finance and the Judiciary committees. Peters won accolades for his success as Commissioner for the Michigan State Lottery, a post he was appointed to in 2003. Peters has also managed branches for two major Wall Street firms, and served as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
After debuting in the eighth spot on our Top 10 list last week, Peters has pushed his way into the Top 5 this week. This past weekend, the Peters campaign launched its new "Take Action Now" initiative, in which Gary Peters and supporters will take time off from the campaign trail to volunteer with community service programs across Oakland County. The first volunteer event was the Stogdill Pancake Breakfast in Pontiac, Michigan, and the campaign intends to volunteer with community service programs across Oakland county. This isn't the first time Peters has mobilized volunteers to help his community: in 1997, Peters formed "NetDay Michigan," a grassroots organization that "installed donated wiring and computers in twenty-two schools, libraries, and recreation centers."
5. Nikki Tinker (TN-09)
Nikki Tinker of Memphis is challenging fellow Democrat Rep. Steve Cohen for the Congressional seat in Tennessee's 9th District, the seat previously held by DLC Chairman Harold Ford, Jr. Tinker, the first African American elected president of her law school's student body, is a respected lawyer and community activist. Tinker began her career as a civil rights attorney and is now General Counsel and Vice-President of Labor Relations for a Memphis-based airline. Tinker's commitment to the community has been recognized by numerous organizations and churches in Tennessee. Among her many honors and awards are the "Woman of Excellence" award from Tri-State Defender, and Christ Missionary Baptist Church's "Living Legend Award."
Endorsed for the second consecutive cycle by EMILY's List, Tinker's fundraising success on ActBlue is driven primarily by a group of citizens styled "Armenians for Nikki," organizing for the campaign and praising Tinker's strong stance on the issue of the Armenian Genocide after her primary opponent, Steve Cohen, denied its existence. Prominent Armenian Americans like Titans defensive lineman Rien Long have endorsed Tinker this month.
6. Mark Warner (VA-Sen)
During his tenure as Virginia Governor from 2002-2006, Warner was hailed by Time Magazine as one of "America's 5 Best Governors" in 2005 and was featured in Newsweek's "Who's Next" issue in 2006. Warner is running for what will be Republican John Warner's vacated Senate seat.
Warner received substantial monies from a page seeking to raise funds to respond to attacks made by Warner's opponent, Jim Gilmore. The page is online at http://actblue.com/page/recordstraight, and contains the following text:
Over the past two weeks, Jim Gilmore has repeatedly accused Mark Warner of lying. Gilmore says that Warner concocted a "myth" about the budget disaster - that there was no fiscal crisis, no budget shortfall, that it was all a grand conspiracy to pull one over on the people of Virginia - and some of the state's leading Republicans were in on it. But, according to the Washington Post, "In Mr. Gilmore, Virginia had its very own Herbert Hoover." We need your help to muster enough resources to get the truth out to voters all across Virginia. Please make a contribution.
7. Jon Powers (NY-26)
Jon Powers, running for Congress in New York's 26th District, is an Army Captain and decorated Iraqi War veteran, schoolteacher, and nonprofit leader. On returning from Baghdad and Najaf, Powers returned to New York planning to become a social studies teacher in the Clarence, NY public schools. But he felt compelled to return to Iraq, and founded War Kids Relief, a nonprofit youth services group in Baghdad that was recognized by NBC Nightly News. Hailed by his fellow troops as a "very passionate" and "exceptional leader," Powers has been endorsed by General Wesley Clark and Senator John Kerry, among other national leaders and local and national unions. Powers will face New York attorney Alice Kryzan and manufacturer Jack Davis in a September 9th primary.
Powers's fundraising success on ActBlue is driven by recurring contributions to his trademark 'Club 26,' named for his district, wherein members commit to contributing $26 each month through victory in November. Beyond giving, members participate in monthly conference calls to exchange of ideas and hear about the campaign's progress.
8. Dan Seals (IL-10)
Dan Seals is currently a business consultant and public policy lecturer at Northwestern University whose professional life has included stints in both the public and private sectors. Seals first ran against Republican incumbent Mark Kirk for Illinois's 10th District seat in 2006 and nearly won with 47 percent of the vote. The former GE Capital marketing director is challenging Kirk once again, and this year has earned a spot on the DCCC Red to Blue Candidates List. In both election cycles, Seals has consistently been among the top ActBlue fundraisers.
Aside from funds contributed through Seals's hub page, the campaign has been the beneficiary of fundraising support from Northside DFA (Seals is one of the group's 'adopted' candidates at http://actblue.com/page/ndfa_picks), from the Daily Kos community at http://actblue.com/page/orangetoblue, and from an innovative community group, online at http://actblue.com/page/twofortuesdays, that has committed to raise $2 each from 100 people every Tuesday.
9. Steve Gaw (MO-09)
Steve Gaw is running for Congress from Missouri's 9th Congressional District to replace Republican incumbent Kenny Hulshof. Trained in physics and the law, Gaw has served as Speaker of the MIssouri House, State Representative from the 22nd District, and Chairman of the Public Service Commission. As Speaker, Gaw advocated for education, public safety, agricultural issues, and economic development. Gaw will face Judy Baker, Ken Jacob, and Lyndon Bode in Missouri's August primary.
Steve Gaw has had a successful week on ActBlue, driving contributions through his hub page.
10. Mark Schauer (MI-07)
Michigan State Senator Mark Schauer is challenging freshman Representative Tim Walberg for the Congressional seat for Michigan's 7th Congressional District. Schauer is a long-time public servant who has served as the head of two major community services associations, where he coordinated provision of services like Head Start; city commissioner for Battle Creek; and state legislator. He is currently serving as Senate Democratic Leader.
Schauer, who built a career in community services, has recently attracted donations through an ActBlue page acknowledging Schauer's reliability as an advocate for children. The Schauer example highlights an important feature of ActBlue: by being explicit about the issue that drives a community to support a given candidate, the candidate can better understand what matters to his supporters.
* All fundraising totals represent the amount raised from 12:00 a.m. on July 14 until 11:59 p.m. on July 20, 2008.