Politics
6:10 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Teachers Back McAleer in 1st District; Both Candidates Raise Campaign Cash

Democrat is expected to announce two, big endorsements on Tuesday -- from the National Education Association and the Utah Education Association -- in her campaign to unseat Rep. Rob Bishop, R-1st District.
Credit Courtesy: / Donna McAleer

The democratic challenger vying for Utah’s 1st district congressional seat hopes two big endorsements will help her unseat the incumbent in November. KUER’s Judy Fahys reports.

Democrat Donna McAleer is expected to announce on Tuesday that she’s got the backing of two political power players in her bid to unseat Republican Rob Bishop.

The National Education Association has more than 3.2 million members and has more than $7 million dollars to spend so far on 2014 elections. The Utah Education Association represents about 18,000 teachers. Both groups are endorsing McAleer.

“We are extremely proud to have earned their support,” she says. “Education is the key to Utah’s economy and job growth.”

Campaign reports from the Federal Election Commission show that McAleer raised $153,436 through the end of June. Some of the money has come from political action committees -- known as “PACS” -- that represent unions. But most contributions are coming from individuals. McAleer is optimistic that’s a sign that more voters will turn out to support her.

“Yes. I’m hoping this opens the door and continues to encourage more people and more citizens in Utah and nationally to get involved in congressional races. If you look across the board, challengers tend to be funded by individuals.”

The latest campaign finance reports show Congressman Bishop, a former educator, has raised $3012,469 -- most of it from defense and energy-industry PACs. Around two-thirds of the money raised so far by Bishop’s campaign comes from outside Utah, while the reverse is true for McAleer’s campaign.

Republican Congressman Rob Bishop is running for a seventh term to represent Utah's 1st District in Congress.
Credit KUER News

  The congressman’s reelection campaign said in an emailed statement: “We'll continue to run a grassroots campaign focused on Rob's record, the issues that are important to Utahns, and the only real endorsement that matters - the voters' endorsement on election day."

The campaign did not comment directly on the teachers unions backing his Democratic opponent.