Lieutenant governor candidates differ on fund-raising techniques

Monday, July 19, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 11:02 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The disparity in campaign contributions collected by the Republican candidates for lieutenant governor is reflective of their different campaign styles.

“My campaign is very much a grass roots kind of campaign,” said Pat Secrest, a Republican from Manchester. “I’m out there on the road and going door to door.”

Secrest has raised $67,888. Her opponent in the Aug. 3 primary, state Sen. Peter Kinder of Cape Girardeau, has raised $665,412. Kinder’s campaign, unlike Secrest’s, has included many fund-raisers in private homes.

Kinder, who has greatly out-raised all the candidates in the campaign, describes a fund-raiser hosted by Jim Stowers, a cancer survivor and founder of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, as a highlight of the campaign.

“He’d never done a fund-raiser for a politician before, so it was particularly special,” Kinder said. The event raised about $20,000, he said.

Though Secrest has thus far raised less than the other candidates whose campaign finance reports were available, she touts her ability to reach voters on a personal level as a successful component of her campaign.

“I’ve gotten to meet with a lot of different people,” she said.

As of last weekend, Secrest had logged 97,000 miles and visited 96 counties in her campaign. In addition to going door to door, she has also appeared at several low-key events, including the Boone County Republicans picnic on July 10.

The two Democratic candidates have each raised hundreds of thousands of dollars through private fund-raisers and appearances at local events. Both Bekki Cook of Cape Girardeau, who has raised $442,859, and state Sen. Ken Jacob of Columbia, who has raised $316,476.83, appeared at an old-fashioned stump speaking event in Jefferson City on July 4.

Jacob has received many more donations from labor unions and interest groups than Cook, whose donations have mostly come from private donors, including several law firms.

Cook, a former secretary of state, said she knows more people around the state but added that Jacob is more familiar with individual interest groups.

Jacob said raising money is one of his least favorite parts of the campaign.

“Kinder’s going to have money, he sucks up to big money,” he said. “And though he may have money, he’s got a tough product to sell.”

Jacob added that in the past several days he has collected much more money than what is reflected in the grand totals released in quarterly reports filed Thursday. Those reports cover the campaign season through June 30.

“It’s much more competitive than it would appear,” he said.

Campaign reports from Mike Ferguson, the Libertarian candidate, and Bruce Hillis, the Constitution Party candidate, were not available through the Missouri Ethics Commission.

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