JEFFERSON CITY — Republican Gov. Matt Blunt has amassed more than twice as much cash as Democratic Attorney General Jay Nixon as they build toward a likely showdown in the 2008 gubernatorial election.
Blunt raised nearly $1.7 million during the past quarter, outpacing the $1 million raised by Nixon during the three-month period that ended June 30, according to campaign finance reports filed Monday.
Blunt ended the quarter with more than $5.8 million on hand, compared with more than $2.4 million for Nixon, when candidates’ expenses and previous contributions are included.
Both candidates’ totals are far ahead of the pace established in recent Missouri gubernatorial races. One big reason for that is the repeal of the state’s individual campaign contribution limits, which took effect Jan. 1. Nixon, for example, created his gubernatorial campaign committee in November 2005, just 10 months after Blunt took office. Blunt, meanwhile, never took much of a break from fundraising. By the end of 2005, he already had $1.6 million on hand for a prospective 2008 re-election.
In the past 2½ years, Blunt has raised a total of $7.9 million; Nixon reported raising nearly $3.6 million.
Blunt and Nixon each reported one $100,000 contribution — Nixon’s from the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees; Blunt’s from the Republican Governors Association, of which he is vice chairman.