HELENA, Mont. — A group organized by a New York hedge fund manager has given a significant boost to the Senate campaign of Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Daines.
Lee Newspapers of Montana reports (http://bit.ly/1ju68ty ) Friends for an American Majority donated $192,600 to Daines on Dec. 31. That's about 8 percent of the money he raised for all of 2013.
The group is a joint fundraising committee led by billionaire Paul Singer of New York. It donated another $335,000 to Republican Senate candidates in Arkansas and Alaska.
Daines is seeking his party's nomination for the Senate seat now held by Democrat John Walsh.
The first-term Republican congressman had $1.9 million in cash on hand at the end of 2013, after raising nearly $2.4 million from individuals, political-action committees and joint fundraising committees.
The only other Republican in the race is state Rep. Champ Edmunds of Missoula.
Walsh was appointed to the Senate by Gov. Steve Bullock earlier this month to finish the unexpired term of Max Baucus, who was named ambassador to China. Walsh had $435,500 in cash on hand at the end of 2013 after raising $583,000 in the last three months of the year.
Singer's Friends for an American Majority committee was formed in December. Its statement of organization filed with the Federal Election Commission says its purpose is to raise money for Daines and Republican Senate candidates Tom Cotton in Arkansas and Dan Sullivan in Alaska.
David Parker, a Montana State University political scientist, said it's not unusual for a high-profile U.S. Senate race like Montana's to attract money from wealthy out-of-state donors and PACs.
The race is a chance for Republicans to pick up a Democratic seat in their bid to wrest control of the U.S. Senate from Democrats in 2014, so Republican donors from across the country will be paying attention to it, he said.