Walsh campaign low on cash, but finds a friend in Kellyanne Conway's husband
Making waves on national television has not translated into a flood of donations yet for Republican presidential candidate Joe Walsh, but he did get a contribution from the husband of a key adviser to President Donald Trump.
Walsh, a former congressman and talk show host from Mundelein, reported $115,429 cash on hand as of Sept. 30, federal records show. He received $234,991 in contributions and a personal loan and spent $119,561 in the third quarter.
In comparison, another Trump primary opponent, former Republican South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, reported nearly $1.4 million cash on hand as of Sept. 30.
Walsh is "short about $8.75 million to be a relevant candidate," said Republican strategist and Palatine Township Republican Committeeman Aaron Del Mar. "He's a dynamic and fun guy, but he's not going to be on the ballot in 40-plus states."
Among Walsh's donors are conservative Washington attorney Richard Conway, husband of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, who gave $5,600. Fourteen Illinoisans pitched in with contributions ranging from $2,800 to $250, for a total of $27,552, federal records of itemized donations (over $200) showed.
Absent from the list of major donors was Republican power broker Dick Uihlein, founder of Uline shipping supplies. The Lake Forest resident typically cuts significant checks to conservative candidates and has donated to Walsh's wife, former state Rep. Helene Miller Walsh.
Despite the scant resources, Walsh's status as an outlier in the Republican Party and communications savvy are increasing his visibility through television and radio appearances.
Recently, Walsh was a guest on CNN's "State of the Union" criticizing Trump for asking foreign governments to investigate Democratic rival and former Vice President Joe Biden.
"This president betrayed his country. There's enough we know now to impeach this president," Walsh said Oct. 6 on CNN.
Trump has dismissed primary rivals Walsh, Sanford and former GOP Gov. Bill Weld of Massachusetts in Twitter posts. The president will visit Chicago for an Oct. 28 luncheon fundraiser with tickets starting at $2,800 per person, photo opportunities with Trump costing $35,000 a couple, and seats at a roundtable $100,000 per person.