Missouri, Illinois candidates fatten bank accounts for 2018 contests | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri, Illinois candidates fatten bank accounts for 2018 contests

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Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has raised slightly more than $100,000 since April 1 for his official campaign committee, which has taken a back seat in recent months.

Greitens' latest report, filed today with the state Ethics Commission, shows that he spent about $127,000 in campaign money during the same period.

The governor has spend far more in money raised by his nonprofit group, A New Missouri, which does not disclose its donors or spending. Greitens' senior advisor Austin Chambers said the nonprofit is paying at least $500,000 for the pro-Greitens TV ad campaign that began last week.

The nonprofit previously has run ads targeting several state senators who have had policy disagreements with the Republican governor.

Greitens official campaign report shows that he has about $2.38 million in the bank. Most of that money was raised before Amendment 2's new state campaign-donation restrictions were put in place Dec. 8. Under the constitutional amendment, donors can give no more than $2,600 per election to officials and candidates for statewide and legislative offices.

The restrictions don't apply to local and regional officeholders such as St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, a Democrat who is seeking re-election next year. He reported nearly $1.7 million in the bank, after raising $302,000 during the past three months.

Also running is Missouri state Auditor Nicole Galloway, a Democrat who is a prime Republican target. Her campaign bank account has about $514,000.

Galloway raised nearly $160,000 since April 1, a moderate sum that may encourage Republican rivals.

All Missouri officials and candidates were required to file campaign finance reports by today's 5 p.m. deadline.

In Illinois, the campaign-finance reporting deadline is 11:59 p.m. Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, faces a crowd of Democratic rivals who already have declared their candidacies for next year’s contest.

Political pundits and experts already predict the 2018 Illinois governor’s race could be among the most expensive in the country.

Raise money, not spend it


In Missouri, next year’s marquee contests likely will be for state auditor and the U.S. Senate.  With the 2018 election more than a year away, the most important figure in those reports is the amount candidates have in the bank.

Credit Susannah Lohr

Their chief task this year is to raise money, and spend as little as possible to ensure that they are well-funded during the campaign.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., whose campaign-finance report was due Saturday under the federal rules, reported $5.1 million in the bank. She provided copies of her official summary documents last week to St. Louis Public Radio.

One of her potential GOP rivals, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, filed his report today showing a bank balance of slightly less than $1 million. But Hawley cannot use any of that money for a Senate bid, because of the different campaign-finance rules for Missouri and Congress.

Here’s a rundown of the bank accounts for area members of Congress in Missouri and Illinois, all of whom complied with  Saturday’s campaign-finance deadline:

  • Rep. Ann Wagner, a Republican from Ballwin who has decided not to run for the U.S. Senate, reported the most in the bank of any St. Louis-region member of Congress:  $3.3 million
  • Rep. Lacy Clay, a Democrat from University City: $235,145.77
  • Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, Republican from St. Elizabeth, Mo.: $2.23 million
  • Rep. Jason Smith, Republican from Salem, Mo.: $934,348.72
  • Rep. John Shimkus, Republican from Collinsville, $1.08 million.
  • Rep. Michael Bost, Republican from Murphysboro, Ill. : $344,818.59
  • Rep. Rodney Davis, Republican from Taylorville, Ill.: $801,532

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