JEFFERSON CITY — Most of the Democratic candidates for Missouri executive offices held a substantial cash advantage over their Republican opponents as they entered the final month before the November elections, according to reports released Monday.
Quarterly financial figures show Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon had more than $4.9 million in his campaign account at the start of October, compared with $1.5 million for his Republican challenger, St. Louis businessman Dave Spence. Democrats also had large financial advantages in every other statewide race except for lieutenant governor, though that race still has the Democratic candidate with a little more money in her campaign account.
The October finance reports typically are important because they show how much cash a candidate has remaining for ads and other campaign activities in the final weeks before Election Day.
In the case of the governor's race, Nixon's hefty bank account means he should have plenty of resources to continue broadcasting his message as he seeks to convert his lead in the public opinion polls into a second term. But Nixon's greater than 3-to-1 cash advantage is not necessarily insurmountable for Spence, who could tap into his personal wealth. Spence previously loaned and gave his campaign a total of $4 million, but he has not put more of his own money into the race since shortly after winning the August Republican primary.
A competitive primary drained the campaign account of Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder. But Monday's reports show Kinder had essentially pulled even financially with his Democratic challenger, former State Auditor Susan Montee, in a race that so far has received little public attention. Heading into October, Montee reported about $270,000 on hand in her campaign account and Kinder nearly $268,000.
Democratic State Treasurer Clint Zweifel held a large financial advantage over his Republican challenger, state Rep. Cole McNary. Although the candidates raised similar amounts of money during the quarterly reporting period, Zweifel started with a substantially larger base and had nearly $1.3 remaining in his campaign account at the beginning of October, compared with $161,000 for McNary
Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster reported raising and spending — and still having — substantially more money than his Republican challenger, Ed Martin. Koster's campaign reported more than $2.5 million on hand at the start of October, compared with a little less than $525,000 for Martin.
There is no incumbent in Missouri's secretary of state's race, because Democratic Robin Carnahan is not seeking a third term. But the Democratic candidate, state Rep. Jason Kander, reported far more money in his campaign account than the Republican candidate, state Rep. Shane Schoeller, who had to spend a considerable amount to win a GOP primary.
The finance reports show that Kander had almost $1.1 million in his account at the start of October, compared a little more than $297,000 for Schoeller.