Rabbi Robert Barr's First Fundraising Quarter is a Blockbuster

Last week, we shared news that Marine veteran and challenger for VA-07 Dan Ward set a record for the highest back-to-back fundraising quarters a Democrat had reported in that district ever. Today, another Democratic challenger in a district we're targeting has reported a number the district hasn't seen in nearly a decade:

Cincinnati Democrat and congressional candidate Robert Barr raised more than $230,000 in his first fundraising quarter, a surprisingly big sum for an otherwise little-known challenger in a Republican-leaning district.
Barr is a rabbi and a newcomer to politics, aiming to oust incumbent GOP Rep. Steve Chabot of Westwood. Barr announced his candidacy in mid-October, and he’s managed to attract national attention with his pitch as a faith leader who could bridge the partisan divide.

We've repeatedly said how impressed we are by the quality of candidates the party is fielding in Republican-held districts. But now, the quality of their campaigns is becoming more apparent. Barr's $236,000 quarter is the most any candidate has raised in that district since Chabot won the seat in 2010 in a race that was targeted by both parties. But wait, there's more:

... [Barr spokesman Daniel] Barash said all the money came from individual donors except one $5,000 contribution from Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer’s leadership PAC. Hoyer is the House’s No. 2 Democrat.

It's looking more and more like this district is going to be one we're talking about in November as Democrats try to take back the House. Hoyer's involvement along with obvious local interest in the race signal that Democrats are serious about competing for a seat that Chabot has been relatively comfortable in, and we'll be keeping a close eye on developments.

As for Chabot, he and Barr's Democratic primary rival Laura Ann Weaver have yet to report their numbers. We are still actively researching an endorsement in the OH-01 Democratic primary, and will have an announcement once candidate filing closes early next month.