NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, pour into political campaigns during election cycles, and it is important for North Dakotans to be informed about political spending in our local election before filling out the ballot.

Josh Meny sat down with North Dakota Democratic-Nonpartisan League Party Chair Patrick Hart to discuss democratic fundraising leading up to November’s general election.

Looking at the latest FEC filings and looking at the total individual contributions, which is actual individuals contributing. The DemNPL has about $327,000, whereas the ND GOP is nearly double that amount at $600,000. And then if you look at transfers from affiliated committees, which is mostly large out-of-state contributions, the DemNPL has $378,000, whereas the ND GOP has just $45,000. What do you say to the argument that when it comes to the parties, the ND GOP is getting more grassroots support than the Dem-NPL?

“Well, I would say that I don’t necessarily agree with that statement. That was you said we received about $350,000 and the GOP received $600,000. Obviously, they are receiving more money. However, we have a fraction of the elected officials that they do so I think that the Dem-NPL is drastically punching above its weight class. You know, we have 21 elected officials we have no elected state departments, we have no national representation. So, although we are receiving less total dollars, I think our percentage is up much higher than our elected official percentage,” explained North Dakota Democratic-Nonpartisan League Party Chair Patrick Hart.

Looking at the FEC filings for Christianson versus Hoeven, it’s clear that Hoeven is getting enormous amounts of out-of-state funding, and she is not. Christiansen’s top contributor is ActBlue, which the filing is out of Massachusetts, and she has $13,000. Hoeven’s top contributor is the Cornyn Victory Committee, which says it’s out of North Carolina, and that’s at $164,000.

“As far as Katrina’s dollars total, the ActBlue contribution is actually a democratic version of a PayPal, if you will. So, if someone’s making your contribution to us as a party or to our candidates, typically it’s going to be through that platform. The $14,000 You mentioned is an aggregate of grassroots donors, I’m sure,” said Hart.

Now, looking at the disparity in campaign financing for Dem-NPL candidates versus Republican: are you worried that you don’t have enough dollars for something like television ads?

“Well, I have seen a lot of John Hoeven television ads. And of course, there’s a billboard just a couple blocks away from here with his name on it,” said Hart.

This ‘Hoeven for Senate’ billboard on State Street in Bismarck is one of many Hoeven billboards across the state.

“Katrina Christiansen in the last several weeks has had many very good fundraisers that I believe aren’t shown on your FEC report. But our dollars, part of my stress as party chair, absolutely. When I was looking at new ways to finance and to bring dollars in and I think this year, we’re actually up year over year after last year, we’re getting close to the 2020 numbers as well. So are our not dollars less than the Republicans? Absolutely. But again, we have that many less elected officials. And if you look at year-over-a-year, we’re definitely growing,” explained Hart.

Effectively communicating to North Dakotans.

“Exactly. And you know, one great example of that is I’m going to call out district-elected LaurieBeth Hager of Fargo has knocked over 2,500 doors. I believe she’s on pace to knock on every single door in her district, which isn’t the effort that we’re seeing being put out by Republican incumbents and Republican candidates. And also just last week, we saw a Senate debate up in Washburn with Dr. Becker and Dr. Christiansen, and Senator Hoeven wasn’t able to make it. So again, we’re really putting the effort and time into talking to our constituents,” explained Hart.

A Dem-NPL social media post showing a mic in an empty chair at the Bek News Debate that Senator Hoeven declined to attend.

According to the Federal Elections Commission, the next congressional and party filing deadline is October 15.