ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota lawmakers who took a political risk by supporting same-sex marriages have seen big increases in their campaign coffers.
The Star Tribune analyzed reports made public Saturday and found that House members whose 2013 votes went against most in their party took in as much as quadruple the cash they raised in 2011.
The influx of cash could be helpful if these lawmakers face strong challengers or backlash for their votes.
Richard Carlbom, a spokesman for Minnesota United, which lobbied for same-sex marriages, said his group and its allies helped raise $500,000 to support officials who voted for same-sex marriage. The new reports show that some lawmakers saw a clear impact.
When comparing all funds raised by House members in 2011 with those in 2013, the numbers double.
But 13 lawmakers who voted for same-sex marriage in Republican districts or in districts where voters didn’t approve of legalizing gay marriage brought in 2½ times as much in 2013 as they did in 2011.
For example, Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, supported same-sex marriage against the majority of his district. He took in nearly $54,000 last year – four times what he raised in 2011.
The cash could help against a potential challenger, he said, and could also help other Republicans as the GOP tries to take majority in the House this year.