Congressional campaigns can get expensive.
Political analyst Jacob Neiheisel said a strong fundraising effort can go a long way.
"Success brings success and it signifies to party leaders and it signifies to other potential donors that you're a viable candidate and somebody that has some momentum behind them," he said.
In New York's 27th Congressional District, current Republican state Senator Chris Jacobs is leading the way. Although the latest federal reports aren't out yet, Jacobs said he's raised more than $1 million and has $850,000 cash on hand.
"I am somewhat impressed by that," Neiheisel said. "It's not terribly surprising given the family name, given the connections, that he would be able to raise a fair amount of cash in short order."
It's still more than a year away from the 2020 general election but Neiheisel believes Jacobs’ war chest gives him a strong advantage. There will likely be a GOP primary in June and possibly before that GOP leaders will designate a candidate for a special election.
"I think that might be persuasive to party leaders for someone who's facing three elections in very quick succession," he said.
Jacobs appears to have a substantial head start but he's not the only one fundraising. Republican candidate Beth Parlato, for instance, claims to have raised $270,000 in just two months on the campaign.
"There seem to be enough donors out there who are willing to give the bucks," Neiheisel said.
One potential candidate the analyst said may not have to worry about money is Medal of Honor recipient David Bellavia. So far though, the veteran has not entered the race.
"He doesn't have to buy name recognition," Neiheisel said. "He just has name recognition, not only because he's been a candidate for that district before but also because of his work on the radio and then of course winning the Medal of Honor does something for your recognition."
Even in a scenario in which Bellavia announces his candidacy and gets the GOP special election designation, Neiheisel still believes he could face a primary challenge soon afterward. He said the amount of money already invested in the election will make it hard for other candidates like Jacobs, Parlato, and others to get out.
"From a perspective of sunk costs, what do you do with that if not parlay that into a run for Congress," he said.
On the Democratic side, 2018 candidate Nate McMurray remains the only one announced so far and says he's raised roughly $200,000.