Missouri federal lawmakers keep fundraising advantage

Friday, July 16, 2010 | 10:52 a.m. CDT; updated 12:12 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 16, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — Three members of Congress facing election challenges have developed fundraising leads over opponents emerging from next month's primary election.

Campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show that Reps. Russ Carnahan, Jo Ann Emerson and Ike Skelton all have sizable leads over their opponents in the November election.

Skelton, a Democrat, reported the largest advantage. He raised $390,000 from April through June, which was more than four times what his opponents raised. At the start of July, Skelton's campaign reported that it had $1.4 million in its bank account.

Republicans have targeted Skelton, the House Armed Services Committee chairman who represents a largely rural and conservative district in western and central Missouri. The two leading Republicans, however, have struggled to keep pace with Skelton's fundraising.

Vicky Hartzler, a former state lawmaker seeking the Republican nomination, reported raising $86,000 in the last quarter, and Republican state Sen. Bill Stouffer brought in $74,000 over the same period. Both Republican challengers have begun running TV ads and had more than $300,000 available at the start of July.

Emerson and Carnahan each raised about 1½ times more than their opponents during the past quarter. Emerson, a Republican whose district covers southeast Missouri, raised $532,000, and Carnahan, a Democrat from the St. Louis area, raised $351,000.

Democrat Tommy Sowers is challenging Emerson and raised $334,000 last quarter. Republican Ed Martin is running against Carnahan and raised $234,000.

In the Republican-dominated race for a southwest Missouri seat in Congress, state Sen. Jack Goodman posted the best quarter, bringing in nearly $100,000. He reported having $207,000 in July for the campaign's final push. But Springfield auctioneer Billy Long still has raised the most overall for the election and had $385,000 available at the end of last quarter.

State Sen. Gary Nodler raised $45,000 for the period and has about $128,000 available to spend. Greene County prosecutor Darrell Moore has lagged, raising just $5,000 over the quarter. He has $1,500 in his campaign bank account.

The eight-person Republican primary is Aug. 3 to replace U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, who is skipping re-election to run for the Senate.

Democrat Scott Eckersley, who also is running for the congressional seat, raised $111,000 but $100,000 of that came from a personal loan to the campaign. Eckersley was fired from Republican Gov. Matt Blunt's office and the state paid him and his attorneys $500,000 last year to settle a lawsuit that accused the governor's office of wrongful termination and defamation. Matt Blunt's father is Roy Blunt.

Eckersley had said he planned to use part of the legal settlement for his congressional campaign.


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