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Missouri auditor hopefuls amass cash for 2018 election

The report on the wealth gap relies on data from the Federal Reserve Board from 1983 through 2016.
Rici Hoffarth
St. Louis Public Radio
Missouri candidates are busy fattening their bank accounts to prepare for the 2018 elections.

Just over a year before the 2018 elections, Missouri’s incumbents are doing their best to raise enough money to scare off their competitors. And that also may be true for some of those rivals, as well.

Aside from the U.S. Senate race, the Missouri state auditor is the only statewide post that will be up for grabs next year. Campaign finance reports filed Monday show Democratic incumbent Nicole Galloway with $665,380 in the bank as of Sept. 30. She had raised $211,118 during the past three months.

Her only announced Republican rival, St. Louis lawyer David Wasinger, reported a bank account almost as large: $645,954. But $500,000 of it is a personal loan. Candidates often engage in self-funding to showcase their commitment. In Wasinger’s case, he may be trying to dissuade potential GOP rivals — such as state Rep. Paul Curtman of Pacific, who reported around $3,500 in the bank.

Galloway has never run statewide before. She was appointed to the auditor post in 2015 after the suicide of Republican Tom Schweich. Wasinger is a former member of the University of Missouri Board of Curators, and is the husband of St. Louis County Councilwoman Colleen Wasinger.

Among the other notable filings:

  • U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, a Republican from Ballwin, has the region’s largest campaign bank account with cash on hand of $3.3 million. Several Democrats are angling to run against Wagner in Missouri’s Republican-leaning 2nd Congressional District.
  • St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger has amassed the most among area Democrats on the 2018 ballot, with close to $2 million in the bank. Businessman Mark Mantovani, who is challenging Stenger in the Democratic primary, has $685,039.81 of cash hand. That doesn’t include $250,000 Mantovani poured into his campaign on Oct. 10.
  • Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, a Republican running for the U.S. Senate next year, reported just over $1 million in his attorney general campaign account. He cannot use it for his Senate bid, because of different federal campaign-finance laws. (Hawley reported more than $800,000 in his Senate account earlier this week.)
  • Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has almost $2.3 million in his campaign bank account. That money is separate from his nonprofit group, called A New Missouri, which does not have to identify its donors or its spending.
  • St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, elected this spring, reported $210,250 in her bank account.
  • State Treasurer Eric Schmitt has accumulated the most among the down-ballot statewide officials, none of whom will be on next year’s ballot. Schmitt reported $221,053 in the bank; Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft reported $130,419 on hand, and Lt. Gov. Mike Parson reported $23,438.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum contributed information to this story.

Follow Jo on Twitter: @jmannies

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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