Trey Gowdy (left via Getty Images), Jeff Duncan
By Mary Orndorff Troyan, Gannett Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The two congressmen from the Greenville area are sharing some of their campaign funds with conservative candidates in other states, new financial records show.
Reps. Trey Gowdy and Jeff Duncan, both Republicans, together donated more than $15,000 from their re-election accounts in the last three months to GOP candidates for the House and Senate, according to Federal Election Commission records.
The donations indicate that they have confidence in their own 2014 re-elections, and that they're Republican team players.
"That is the House collegialism, if you will, helping each other out," said Chip Felkel, a Republican political consultant in Greenville.
Duncan, R-Laurens, gave $1,000 each to five House candidates in Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan and Montana, FEC records show.
Gowdy, R-Spartanburg, gave $4,000 each to two Senate candidates, including Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, plus $2,600 to Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich. Gowdy also transferred $50,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, which helps elect Republicans around the country.
Gowdy and Duncan are part of the tea party-backed class of candidates that arrived in 2010 and are now running for their third terms. So far they are unchallenged by other Republicans.
"The places from where a primary challenge might come are pretty happy with those guys," Felkel said.
Duncan's latest campaign finance report, filed last week with the FEC, shows he has about $170,000. During July, August and September, his account received $48,500 from individual donors and $27,500 from political action committees, including PACs affiliated with Duke Energy Corp., the American Hospital Association and the National Association of Realtors.
Gowdy's campaign account shows a balance of about $426,000. Individual donors in the last three months gave him almost $91,000, and PACs gave $41,500. Those PACs include Duke Energy, the National Association of Realtors, Boeing Co. and the American Bankers Association.
The three incumbents Duncan supported are Amash, Rep. Steve Southerland of Florida and Rep. Steve Daines of Montana. He's also backing Neil Riser in Louisiana, running in a special election for an open seat, and former Rep. Bobby Schilling of Illinois, who lost to a Democrat in the last cycle and is running for the job again.
Gowdy is also backing a House colleague, Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who is trying to unseat Sen. Mark Pryor, a Democrat.