Fueled by big donations, Lager reigns financially supreme in lieutenant governor contest
State Sen. Brad Lager raised nearly $970,000 during the latest fund-raising quarter, a tally helped mightily by large donations from some of the state’s biggest political donors.
The Republican from Savannah, Mo., is hopes to stop Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder’s bid for a third term. Lager took in $968,115 as well as $3,625 in in-kind donations this quarter. After spending $692,687.55, Lager has $1,383,541.39 cash left.
Lager’s contributions included $250,000 from TAMKO CEO David Humphreys; $385,000 from retired financer Rex Sinquefield; and $253,125 from Herzog Contracting Corp. In prior quarters, Lager racked up large amounts of money from a narrow group of donors.
In the Beacon’s overview of the GOP lieutenant governor's race, Lager said he is “actually honored that entrepreneurs – people who have built successful companies and big companies – are supporting me.” He noted that he has personal relationships with some of the donors.
Kinder's report showed up on the commission's website late Monday. His campaign ended up taking in $242,527.55 as well as $3,681.15 of in-kind donations. After spending $442,520.06, the Cape Girardeau native has $1,135,534.32 of cash on hand.
(Start of update) While he originally filed a report stating that he raised $252,527.55 in monetary contributions, Kinder filed an amended report on Tuesday showing that he actually taken $242,527.55. The report stated that a $10,000 donation from Drury Development had erronously been added. (End of update)
Part of Lager’s spending went toward a television advertising campaign attacking Kinder, particularly on a controversy involving the two-term statewide official’s traveling expenses.
Kinder, a Republican, also spent a lot of money this quarter on advertising. He counterattacked with television spots criticizing Lager for voting to reauthorize projects funded with federal stimulus dollars.
Wentzville attorney Michael Carter filed a limited activity report, signaling he hasn’t been actively raising funds. Carter unleashed a slew of robo-call earlier this summer, a tactic he utilized in 2008 when he ran for lieutenant governor as a Democrat. St. Louis resident Charles W. Kullman does not have a campaign committee filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission.
All four are competing in the Aug. 7 primary.
Montee leads financially in crowded Democratic field
Meanwhile, former state Auditor Susan Montee took in the most money so far among the crowd of Democrats running for lieutenant governor.
Here’s the breakdown of the candidates who had turned in reports to the Missouri Ethics Commission, as of Monday:
- Montee raised $93,228.50 and spent $79,891.56. She has $133,563.32 cash on hand, the most out of the eight Democrats running for the post.
- Former state Rep. Judy Baker, D-Columbia, took in $47,670 as well as $4,528.40 worth of in-kind donations.
- Former state Rep. Fred Kratky, D-St. Louis, received $30,041.18 this quarter, including a $5,000 loan. He also took $1,010 worth of in-kind donations. Kratky -- who is married to state Rep. Michelle Kratky, D-St. Louis -- spent $8,540.92 and $69,228.17 of cash on hand.
- State Rep. Sara Lampe, D-Springfield, raised $29,440.24 and $2,300.78 worth of in-kind donations. She spent $18,104.04 and $37,027.83 of cash on hand.
- State Conservation Commissioner Becky Plattner took in $11,065, $10,000 of which came from a loan. After spending $10,240.80, the Grand Pass native has $6,866.83 of cash on hand.
- St. Louis School Board member Bill Haas personally chipped in $8,165 for his campaign, taking no other donations during the quarter. After spending $7,520, Haas has $645 on hand.
As of 9:30 p.m. Monday, former state Rep. Jackie Townes McGee, D-Kansas City, and St. Joseph resident Dennis Weisenburger had not filed a campaign finance report with the Missouri Ethics Commission.
Unlike the Republican contest, the Democratic race for lieutenant governor has generally been a relatively quiet and low-spending affair. While Haas has run radio ads, the other candidates have held off spending money on major advertising campaigns.