U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) raised $2.3 million in the first quarter of the year, a Nevada record for federal office this early in the campaign cycle, leaving her re-election campaign with $4.66 million in cash on hand, her campaign will announce later Friday.
Her fundraising figures come after congressional Democrats passed a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package in March, which included $1,400 direct payments to Americans and extended unemployment aid. Nevada has suffered from high unemployment spurred by the pandemic. In February, the state posted the fifth-highest unemployment rate in the nation, tied with New Mexico, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Nevada Democrat’s 2022 re-election race is expected to be hotly contested with the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, focused on defeating her. President Joe Biden only won the state by 2.5 percent in 2020, the same margin as Hillary Clinton in 2016.
The NRSC launched its first ad against her this cycle late last month. No GOP candidates have yet entered the race, but former Attorney General Adam Laxalt is believed to be considering a run.
According to her campaign, Cortez Masto raised money from more than 21,000 individuals this quarter, and 96 percent of the contributions were $100 or less.
By comparison, Cortez Masto is ahead of former Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), who raised $1.42 million during the first quarter of 2017 and had $2.65 million in cash on hand, according to his Federal Election Commission disclosure.
Cortez Masto officially launched her campaign in February.