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Self-funder leads 1st Congressional District fundraising

Hank Hayes • Apr 19, 2020 at 10:30 PM

A self-funder is the leading fundraiser in Northeast Tennessee's 1st Congressional District race, according to first quarter disclosures listed by the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

Kingsport pharmacist Diana Harshbarger, a Republican, loaned her campaign $250,000 on her way toward receiving about $289,000 in total contributions. She's already spent more than $231,000 on her candidacy.

Most of the other Republicans in the race haven’t spent close to Harshbarger’s amount.

State Sen. Rusty Crowe of Johnson City has raised about $203,000 and spent around $8,200. A number of contributions came from current and former members of the Tennessee General Assembly.

Former Kingsport Mayor John Clark has raised about $182,000 and spent about $61,500. Clark has also loaned his campaign nearly $80,000. Former Johnson City Mayor Steve Darden has raised about $131,000 but only spent about $1,200. He has also loaned his campaign $25,000.

A spokesman for state Rep. Timothy Hill of Blountville said: “Because of when Timothy Hill announced his candidacy for Congress, he is not required to file a first quarter disclosure with the FEC.” The same went for state Rep. David Hawk of Greeneville.

On the Democrat side, Elizabethton’s Chris Rowe is the leading fundraiser with about $13,800 in contributions.

The seat became open when U.S. Rep. Phil Roe decided to retire and not seek re-election.

A Democrat hasn’t been elected to the 1st Congressional District seat since Reconstruction.

Primaries will be held in August.

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