Campaign Finance
9:35 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Reed Faces Steep Fundraising Disadvantage In Mayoral Race

Updated 3:43 with Mayor Slay's more recent ad (that is televised).

A little more than a month away from the Democratic primary, challenger Lewis Reed is losing the fundraising battle miserably.

According to Tuesday's campaign finance filings, incumbent Mayor Francis Slay spent nearly a million dollars in the month of January in his campaign to be re-elected.

Reed, the president of the Board of Alderman, only spent $77,719.26 in December and January. By not meeting the deadline for filing campaign finance reports, Reed was a day late and about $900,000 short in campaign spending.

Slay has about $600,000 left in cash on hand. Reed has $94,000 and a $26,000 debt.

Where's all the money coming from? Well, Slay's largest donation is from "Missourians for Excellence in Government," a PAC associated with libertarian billionaire Rex Sinquefield. That PAC has donated a total of $100,000 to Slay through two donations.

Mouse over the colored bars to see names and amounts of donations. Or click the title to expand the graph.

Reed's biggest donations come from firefighter unions, who gave  $40,000 altogether through four donations.

But Reed's woes aren't only financial. At the beginning of January, he parted ways with his campaign manager, Matt Teter. Reed told the St. Louis Beacon that he never meant to keep Teter on long-term, while Teter said the candidate just wouldn't take his advice. He has since been replaced by Glenn Burleigh, a former ACORN director in the St. Louis area.

Since filing day, when Slay said he was worried Reed (an African American) would "play the race card," the contest has been relatively low-key until recently.

Over the weekend, the St. Louis Beacon reported that planning for a "booing" of Slay took place at a Reed event. Reed's campaign manager joked that Reed's campaign doesn't have enough money to pay for the "Boo Krew," while Slay tweeted in response.

Both campaigns have released campaign ads, at least on the Internet. Reed's ad criticizes the crime rate in the city, something the candidate says is personal to him because his brother was shot and killed. Reed takes a swipe at Slay by saying, "We know one thing that doesn't work: pretending the problem doesn't exist."

Update: Slay released a new television ad this morning, touting the progress the city has made in lowering lead poisoning rates. Slay's campaign spent $500,000 on a firm that handles TV and radio ads. He also spent $300,000 on a firm that deals with campaign mailers and fliers.

Slay is hoping a win in March will grant him an unprecedented (at least in modern times) fourth term.

Whoever wins the Democratic primary is virtually guaranteed to become the next mayor, as Democrats have a firm hold on the city and a Republican did not file for the office.

Reed and Slay are joined by former Alderman Jimmie Matthews. Matthews has yet to file his reports.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

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