According to a recent report from, the state Democratic Party and Senate Dems have directed four times the amount of resources into state Sen. Jeff Smith’s (D-Brunswick) 31st Senate District campaign as they have for their three Dem candidates in other closely-watched Senate races in the 9th, 19th, and 25th SD. For Republicans to gain a supermajority in the Senate, they need to net one seat in this fall’s elections. To prevent that two-thirds majority, Democrats are looking to either defend Smith’s 31st SD seat, defend the open 25th SD seat, or flip a current GOP seat in the 9th or 19th SD.

According to a recent filing with the state Ethics Commission, Smith raised $467,270, spent $652,049 and had $15,992 in the bank to end the reporting period that ran from September 1 — October 24. The State Senate Democratic Committee (SSDC) accounted for $211,656 in donations and in-kind contributions during the reporting period and also donated an additional $122,000 since the period closed. Smith reported $47,399 in in-kind donations from the state Democrats during the pre-election period.

Smith’s GOP opponent Dave Estenson raised $212,338, spent $226,632, and had $40,372 to end the reporting period. He also reported $165,826 in in-kind donations from the Committee to Elect a Republican Senate and the state GOP. Estenson reported an additional $160,645 from both groups in in-kind donations since the period closed.

An analysis of the new legislative maps says the 21st SD is a 53% Dem district during the gubernatorial cycle. Governor Tony Evers (D-Plymouth) captured 53% of the votes in the district during the 2018 governor’s race.

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