Finance disclosures reveal Holden leading by millions

McCaskill donated money to her own campaign and spent it on TV ads.
Friday, July 16, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:04 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Bob Holden outspent Democratic challenger Claire McCaskill and yet had 10 times as much money in the bank heading into the final month before the Aug. 3 primary elections, according to campaign finance reports released Thursday.

A McCaskill spokesman said the cash discrepancy was due partly to the fact her campaign already had paid for TV ads to run through the election.

Holden’s campaign said it has continued to buy ads since the quarterly reporting deadline of June 30.

Still, the financial reports reveal a significant advantage for Holden, who had raised more than $6.5 million for the campaign, spent more than $4.3 million and still had nearly $2.3 million on hand.

By comparison, McCaskill’s campaign said it had raised $3.2 million for the campaign, including $875,411 in personal loans and about $500,000 carried over from her successful 2002 state auditor’s campaign. McCaskill had spent just under $3 million and had $234,578 on hand as of June 30, the campaign said.

The finance reports were due Thursday with the Missouri Ethics Commission. Republican front-runner Matt Blunt raised a total of $4.3 million for the campaign, spent $1.7 million and had a little more than $2.5 million on hand as of June 30 — an amount slightly higher than Holden.

Although Blunt also faces an Aug. 3 primary, none of his lesser-known Republican opponents had raised much money, nor had any of the other Democratic candidates.

Holden, in a prepared statement, touted that he had raised more than $1 million from more than 2,600 donors from April to June. McCaskill raised barely one-third as much from contributors — $355,236 — and loaned her campaign an additional $300,000. The low balance reflects that the campaign already had bought more than $1 million in television ads to run in the final days of the campaign, said McCaskill spokesman Glen Campbell.

Meanwhile, an independent group called Missourians For Accountability raised $403,265 and spent $355,000 last month on TV ads supportive of McCaskill. In the race to keep his U.S. Senate seat, Kit Bond has already eclipsed his 1998 fund-raising by $1.5 million.

Democratic state Treasurer Nancy Farmer also reported strong fund-raising and was closing in on the amount raised.

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