With the special election to replace Nathan Cooper a little more than a week away, Democrat Mike Keefe closed some of the fundraising gap with his rival, Republican Mary Kasten.
Despite the effort by Keefe, Kasten still had more than five times the money available for the final push to the Feb. 5 election.
According to reports filed Monday with the Missouri Ethics Commission, Kasten took in $2,460 during the first three weeks of January, compared to $6,440 for Keefe. Libertarian Party candidate Steve Kinder filed a statement last year indicating he did not intend to raise or spend more than $500 on his campaign.
Cooper, a Republican, resigned his seat Aug. 14 after pleading guilty to two federal felony counts for immigration fraud. The charges were related to his law practice and did not cover any official actions he took during his three years as a state lawmaker.
Kasten, a Republican, has brought in a total of $46,240 for the election, while Keefe's total is up to $27,302 through Jan. 24.
Kasten has spent $24,675 so far, leaving her $20,714 for the final 12 days of the campaign. Her biggest expenses during the period were $3,846 to cover catering for a fundraiser and $2,385 on radio advertising.
During the fundraising period, Kasten received $1,625 from groups that lobby the Missouri Legislature, including associations representing hospitals, nursing homes and realtors.
According to Keefe's report, his fundraising sources included Democratic lawmakers, who provided $1,090, and party committees, which contributed $1,750, as well as one $325 contribution from a labor union and a $325 contribution from the Missouri Hospital Association.
Keefe spent $17,730 during the period and $23,212 overall, leaving him $4,089 for the final days. Keefe's main spending drive in the period was on direct mail, with $10,321 spent so far. He has also spent $4,330 on radio advertising and $1,760 on newspaper ads.
Keefe is the former postmaster of Cape Girardeau and is making his first bid for elective office. Kasten is a former state representative who was in the Missouri House from 1983 to 2001. Before her election, Kasten was a long-time member of the Cape Girardeau Board of Education. Kinder is a pharmacist making his first bid for elective office.
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