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March Mania

Rounds' fundraising picks up as 2020 draws near; Thune remains top of 2022 candidates in fundraising

The sun rises over the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Dec. 27, 2018. Lawmakers will return to Capitol Hill Thursday to resume negotiations over either a stopgap spending bill to reopen nine federal departments and several government agencies or broader measures to fund the government through September. But the White House and Democrats remain at odds over the $5 billion that President Donald Trump is demanding for a wall, his signature campaign promise. (Al Drago/The New York Times/Copyright 2018)

PIERRE, S.D. -- Reelection time for South Dakota's Washington delegation may be years out, but campaign fundraising for 2020 and 2022 are well underway for the three Republicans.

According to recently filed reports with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds, who is up for reelection in November 2020, raised nearly $597,000 in campaign contributions in the first quarter of 2019, through the affiliated Rounds for Senate committee.

U.S. Sen. John Thune, the second-highest ranking member of the Senate, received nearly $259,000 in campaign contributions in this same time period through the affiliated Friends of John Thune committee. Thune is not up for reelection until 2022.

To date, Thune has raised the fifth most campaign contributions of all 2022 Senate candidates, with over $3 million raised since 2017. Rounds has raised a total $1.8 million since 2015, ranking him in 28th place for fundraising out of all 119 Senate candidates for 2020.

According to preliminary data processed by the FEC as of Friday, April 19, the majority of funds raised by Rounds between January and March were from contributions that ranged from $2,500 to $5,000, totaling $429,600.

This number is subject to change as the FEC continues to process more data from candidates' reports in the coming weeks. Paper filings, in particular, take longer to process, according to the FEC.

Among Rounds' highest contributions were two in the amount of $5,000 each from the South Dakota-based Peter Norbeck Leadership PAC, named for the former governor. According to Open Secrets, this PAC is affiliated with Rounds.

Rounds also received two donations in the amount of $2,800 -- the maximum donation allowed by individuals -- from his wife, Jean Rounds.

PACs that donated to Rounds ranged in special interest from finance and banking, to energy, to agriculture. Rounds sits on the Senate's Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, and the Environment and Public Works Committee, among others.

As of Friday, the FEC reported that Rounds received 31 contributions under $200, totaling nearly $3,000. And overall, $96,275 in contributions made to Rounds were from individuals, organizations or PACs located in South Dakota.

Both Rounds and Thune received contributions from the TransCanada USA Service, Inc. PAC between January and March: $2,500 to Thune and $1,000 to Rounds. The Alberta, Canada-based energy company plans to construct a crude oil pipeline through South Dakota, among other states.

Out of Thune's $259,000 raised between January and March, over $84,000 came from contributions that ranged individually from $2,500 to $5,000. Thune also received $26,040 in individual contributions under $200 each.

Over $44,000 of contributions made to Thune were from South Dakota. Several donations made to Thune were from agricultural and financial special interest PACs.

One contribution in the amount of $2,500 was from the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association Rural Broadband PAC. Thune is the chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet, and sits on the Finance Committee.

Newly elected U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson has raised over $121,000 since taking office in January. Specific data on individual contributions to Johnson have not yet been processed by the FEC.