Spence reports spending about $1 million on TV ads in GOP bid for governor
Kirkwood businessman Dave Spence already has spent close to $1 million on campaign ads on his Republican bid for Missouri governor, even though the GOP primary and general election are months away.
Spence’s ad spending makes up the bulk of the $1.36 million he spent since January 1, according to his latest campaign-finance report, filed late Monday with the Missouri Ethics Commission.
Spence actually spent far more than he raised during the three-month period ending March 31, illustrating the costs confronted by a political newcomer who must gain some statewide name recognition before taking on Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat who has held various offices going back to the 1980s.
Of the $843,000 in new money that Spence collected, almost one-third -- $250,000 – came from his own pocket. But that money is listed as a loan, meaning that he hopes to get paid back.
Spence earlier had donated $2 million to his campaign, which means he won’t get back that money.
Most of the roughly $500,000 in donations that he collected from others came from businessmen or their families in the St. Louis. Little of his money came from outstate constributors.
Ironically, the firm handling his ad purchases – Thompson Communications – is a longstanding Republican-affiliated media company based in Springfield, Mo. Founder John Thompson is a former aide to now-Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., back in the early 1990s.
Spence’s chief Republican challenger, consultant/pastor Bill Randles of Kansas City, reported raising and spending far less, and has less than $5,400 in the bank.
Despite all his spending, Spence had $1.7 million in the bank as of March 31. That’s just over a quarter of Nixon’s campaign bank account. Nixon has not put in any of his own money into his re-election bid, but he has taken generous contributions from others – with a few in the six-figures.
Here’s the campaign-finance details for Randles and Spence:
Raised $843,372.83 for the period ($3,216,397 overall)
Spent $1,362,318.80 for the period ($1,427,826.39 overall)
On hand: $1,744,137.88
Raised $35,170.94 for the period ($107,606.95 overall)
Spent: $34,982.71 for the period ($93,211.63 overall)
On hand: $5,364.76