Heller up in fundraising | NevadaAppeal.com

Heller up in fundraising

The Associated Press

CARSON CITY ” Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., has a big fundraising advantage over Democrat Jill Derby as they prepare to face off again in a race for the 2nd Congressional District seat.

Reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show Heller has $808,385 in cash on hand, along with a $369,932 debt remaining from his win over Derby in the race in 2006.

Derby, who quit her job as state Democratic Party chairwoman in February to run again for the seat, has $133,763 in cash on hand, or less than one-third of Heller’s total if his debts are subtracted from his cash.

That’s a far cry from 2006, when Heller claimed Derby outspent him 2-to-1 in the general election race.

Heller had spent more than $1 million in a tough primary against former Assembly members Sharron Angle and Dawn Gibbons leaving little money for the general election race. In the end, he defeated Derby by 12,600 votes, or 5.4 percentage points, in a race political analysts considered far closer than expected.

During the November 2006 election, Republicans outnumbered Democrats by about 48,000 registered voters in the district that covers the entire state except for urban areas of the Las Vegas Valley. The GOP advantage, however, has dwindled to about 31,300 voters.

Derby has raised $143,879 in contributions since entering the race, compared with $186,578 Heller raised in the January-March reporting period. But Heller already had more than $600,000 on hand from earlier contributions.