First-time Democratic candidate Jimmy Farris has a buoyant 60-second spot that he hopes will air this fall in his race against freshman GOP Congressman Raul Labrador.
Titled, A Future Leader, Now, the video is available only on the Web. Farris raised about $37,000 through June 30, compared to Labradors $628,000 raised and $203,000 in the bank.
Farris said Wednesday that he still plans to tap his roots as a former NFL player and needs to spend $300,000 to be competitive.
His newcomer status has been a hurdle, Farris said, though he says hes raised his profile with retail campaigning in recent months. He hopes to reach $150,000 in contributions by Sept. 30. Now when Im making phone calls people know who I am, Farris said.
Farris had hoped his NFL connections would be pivotal, but he has received just $4,000 from four contributors: $500 each from NFL veterans Alge Crumpler, Bryan Scott and Ryan Stewart, and $2,500 from Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank.
Farris said hed solicited contributions from 20 or 25 players, but found many disinterested in politics; others have seen their wealth decline with the economy. Farris said hell make another run at NFL money after the season starts and players receive their first paychecks.
Farris inability to raise money is deadly to his chances, said Boise State political scientist emeritus Jim Weatherby. At this point, the Farris candidacy appears to be DOA. He cant demonstrate his fundraising ability, cant pass the viability test for a challenger.
Labrador campaign manager China Gum said that her bosss least favorite part of politics is fundraising and that he spends most of his time representing constituents. He is very grateful to all of his contributors who share his vision of limited government and contribute their hard-earned money because they want to see him continue to serve them in Congress.
In his ad shot at the Idaho Statehouse, Farris says hell help break the gridlock in Congress. I have a vision to be a leader who can put partisanship and division aside to solve problems, to do whats right, Farris says.
Dan Popkey: 377-6438, Twitter: @IDS_politics