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Government, Politics & Issues

Lopsided Funding In Nearing 8th District Special Election

Courtesy of both campaigns.
Republican Jason Smith (left) and Democrat Steve Hodges (right).

Update 5/28/13 1:40 with information on third party candidates.

The race to replace Missouri Republican Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson’s district has been relatively low-key.

The district is seen as reliably conservative. With just eight days left before the 8th Congressional District’s special election in southeast Missouri, the fundraising battle is heavily lopsided in favor of Republican candidate Jason Smith. Smith has raised twice as much as his Democratic opponent, and his Communications Director, Justin Gibbs, says that’s for a reason.

“People want this district to be a check on the Obama administration," Gibbs said. "People are giving to Jason’s campaign because they know he’s not going to be afraid to stand up to Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi.”

The Democratic candidate, Steve Hodges, on the other hand, says the race is about protecting Social Security and Medicare, since the 8th has a high proportion of elderly voters.

Hodges says he can't be ruled out yet, and his campaign manager points out that Smith has already spent much of what he’s raised.

“You know, the bottom line is that it isn’t about who spends the most money or who raises the most money," Jake Breymaier said. "It’s about talking to the voters.”

The 8th district has been in Republican hands for more than 30 years. But turnout is typically low in special elections, when anything can happen.

Smith and Hodges are also joined by two third-party candidates: Libertarian Bill Slantz and Constitution Party candidate Doug Enyart. Neither have filed donations with the FEC.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

You can see where the two candidates are getting their campaign donations in the state. To pan, hold down shift. To zoom, double click.

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