POLITICS: PennAve

Donald Trump looks to be an active donor in 2014 midterms

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Politics,Congress,Campaign Finance,2014 Elections,Campaigns,PennAve,Rebecca Berg,Donald Trump

Last year, Donald Trump vowed he would support "a lot" of Republican candidates and committees during the 2014 midterm election cycle -- and his donations during the first quarter of the year indeed reflect a desire to cast a wide net of support.

From January through the end of March, the real estate mogul and television personality made 21 donations of $1,000 directly to Republican House or Senate campaigns across 19 states, according to numbers provided by a source with knowledge of Trump's political spending. Trump, who is not affiliated with a political action committee as are many other prominent donors, made the contributions under his own name.

Throwing some of his fiscal weight behind Republican campaigns is not out of character for Trump, who personally spent hundreds of thousands of dollars supporting candidates and party committees during the 2012 election cycle. During 2013, Trump got an early start on the 2014 midterm elections with hefty donations to the re-election campaign for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

His latest donations, although relatively small, indicate Trump will continue to turn his attention and money to a wider swath of conservative Republicans, and not necessarily those in battleground races.

Trump selected four Republican Senate candidates to support during the first quarter: Rep. Tom Cotton, of Arkansas; Terri Lynn Land, of Michigan; Rep. Steve Daines, of Montana; and Sen. Tim Scott, of South Carolina. Of the three, only Scott's race is not considered competitive.

Trump's support of House candidates was more eclectic, with the overarching theme apparently his support for staunchly conservative candidates.

Among the House campaigns to which Trump donated are three in early presidential primary states: Rep. Steve King, of Iowa; Rep. Mick Mulvaney, of South Carolina, and former Rep. Frank Guinta, of New Hampshire, who is challenging Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter for his old seat. Trump very publicly toyed with the idea of running for president in 2012, and he returned to New Hampshire last week to speak at the Freedom Summit, an event sponsored by two prominent conservative groups, Citizens United and Americans for Prosperity Foundation.

With his donations, Trump also appears to be wading into a few competitive Republican primary races: He donated $1,000 to Rep. Tom McClintock of California, who is defending himself against an insurgent bid by Art Moore. Trump also sent money to support David Rouzer, who is taking on Rep. Mike McIntyre in North Carolina, and to Alex Mooney, who is among the Republicans vying to replace Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who is running for Senate in West Virginia.

Trump rounded out his portfolio of first-quarter political spending with donations to Republicans Rep. Ron DeSantis, of Florida; Rep. Matt Salmon, of Arizona; Rep. Jim Jordan, of Ohio; Rep. Ann Wagner, of Missouri; Rep. Louie Gohmert, of Texas; Rep. Steve Southerland, of Florida; Rep. Andy Harris, of Maryland; Rep. Marsha Blackburn, of Tennessee; Rep. Raul Labrador, of Idaho; Barbara Comstock, a House candidate in Virginia; and Lee Zeldin, a House candidate from New York.

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