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Lamping's Low Bank Account May Signal His Retirement

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Several civic leaders from Kansas City have gone to court challenging a voter-approved state law that requires Kansas City and St. Louis to ask voters every five years to renew the city earning taxes.

Updated 3:23 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17

State Sen. John Lamping, R-Frontenac, has yet to say if he’s running for re-election this fall, in what could be the region’s top legislative contest.

But his campaign money could be speaking for him. He has very little.

Meanwhile, his Democratic challenger — state Rep. Jill Schupp of Creve — has raised a lot.

The latest campaign-finance reports for the two, filed this week, show that Schupp raised more than $108,000 during the past three months. She now has $261,202 in the bank.

Lamping reported raising only $3,000 during the same period; he now has only $9,877 in the bank.

Lamping also spent very little during the quarter — $463 — compared to Schupp’s $18,235.  That disparity signals that Lamping hasn’t engaged in campaign preparations, such as a hiring a staff,  that usually accompanies an election bid.

For more than a year, Lamping has made no secret of his indecision. His wife and several of his children now live near Kansas City because a young daughter is gifted in gymnastics and training for a possible Olympic bid.

Roorda, Schmitt report impressive tallies

In the region’s other potentially hot Senate contest, in Jefferson County, state Rep. Jeff Roorda, D- Barnhart, has a significant financial edge over his likely Republican rival, Rep. Paul Wieland of Imperial.

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Credit Mo. House Communications
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Jeff Roorda

Roorda reported $168,950, compared to Wieland’s $21,677.  The two spent similar amounts during the past quarter — $8,162 for Wieland and $8,994 for Roorda — a sign that they're both preparing for the race.

Interesting totals among the region’s other state senators include:

  • Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, has a huge tally of $855,014 for what is expected to be a statewide bid – possibly attorney general – in 2016;
  • Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University, has amassed $208,246 in the bank for her expected re-election effort this fall.
  • Sen. Joe Keaveny, D-St. Louis, up for re-election this year, has collected $91,157;
  • Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis,  has just begun her second year of her first term but already has accumulated $144,127.

Is Slay looking at another race — or another term?

In St. Louis, Mayor Francis Slay — just ending the first year of his fourth term — has already banked $457,351 after raising $80,537 during the last three months of 2013.

Such a hefty campaign war chest is prompting speculation about the mayor's intentions. Is he considering other offices? Or is the longest-serving mayor in the city's history already looking at a possible fifth term?

Word has it that Slay, prolific on social media, is soon to roll out a revamped website.

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Credit Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio
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St. Louis Public Radio
Francis Slay

St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green, who won re-election last year as well, didn’t raise any money during the past three months. But she still has $190,190 in the bank.

Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed, who lost to Slay in March, has $57,279 in the bank to begin his planned 2015 re-election campaign. Reed raised only $14,145 during the past three months.

But one of Reed’s likely rivals, Alderman Jennifer Florida, D-15th Ward, has far less. She collected $6,775 during the quarter and has $12,457 in the bank.

Another talked-about contender for Reed’s job — Alderman Lyda Krewson, D-28th Ward — has far more. She reported $197,519 in the bank.

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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