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Republican donor David Humphreys gives $250,000 to Ed Martin's attorney general campaign

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 31, 2012 - Ed Martin, a Republican candidate for Missouri attorney general, almost doubled his campaign bank account on Thursday with one donation: $250,000 from David Humphreys, head of Joplin-based Tamko Building Products.

The donation may be the largest single donation to any Missouri candidate so far this year and possibly since the state got rid of campaign-donation limits in 2007.

Martin is the best-known Republican seeking to challenge Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, a Democrat, this fall.

Earlier in May, Humphreys – long one of Missouri’s top Republican donors – gave $100,000 to state Auditor Tom Schweich, even though Schweich isn’t running for any office this year.

Humphreys and his mother, Ethelmae Humphreys, also gave $70,000 in May to various other Republicans. 

In 2011, David Humphreys made news when he called for Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder to halt his Republican campaign for governor and to return all of his donations from Humphreys.

Humphreys was upset over Kinder’s acknowledged former acquaintance with a stripper almost 20 years ago.

In Martin’s case, campaign spokesman Gabe Jones said the candidate had sent Humphreys a request for a donation a few days ago.

On Thursday, the candidate and Jones drove to Joplin to meet with Humphreys, who then handed them the check for $250,000. The donation already has been reported to the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Although presumably thrilled over the contribution, the statement from Martin campaign manager Steve Michael mentions only the other, smaller donations that the candidate has collected.

"Over the course of our campaign, we have been funded by 2,403 donors throughout the state,” Michael said. “ We are grateful for the support of all of our donors who are coalescing  around Ed Martin.”

Martin’s most recent campaign-finance report, filed in April, showed him with $300,271 in the bank.

Koster, by the way, reported $2.03 million on hand.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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