Most local candidates file finance reports

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The final cash tally for Paul Koeper's victory in the District 1 race for Cape Girardeau County Commission is in.

Koeper, a vice president of Penzel Construction, spent $23,551 to defeat nine opponents in the Republican primary, according to reports filed this week with County Clerk Kara Clark. As of Aug. 30, Koeper had $1,634 in the bank for the fall race against Democratic nominee Marvin McMillan, who spent $3,994 on his victory over two Democratic opponents in the Aug. 5 primary.

Since the primary, McMillan has raised $1,500, compared to $500 by Koeper, and has $3,495 in the bank for his fall effort.

Koeper said he didn't believe he would need to raise an amount similar to his primary treasury for the fall race. He has signs left over from the August contest and brochures. And he expects the recently developed race for the District 2 Commission seat in Cape Girardeau to grab headlines and donor money.

"They will spend a lot of money," Koeper said of the race between incumbent Republican Jay Purcell and independent candidate Rock Finch. "There are two well-qualified candidates, and there will be a lot of talk and a lot of publicity."

McMillan said his fundraising has already exceeded his expectations -- he has gathered $7,640 total since he began the race, including a $3,100 personal loan to his campaign.

"I am feeling good about it," he said. "More money will come in."

Five of the other nine GOP candidates from the District 1 primary filed their final reports by the Thursday deadline. One, last-place finisher Ken Waldron, is exempt from filing a report because he did not meet spending thresholds in state law.

Koeper's closest challenger in fundraising was also his closest challenger in the primary. Jackson Alderman Joe Bob Baker reported raising $13,972. No other candidate reported raising or spending more than $10,000.

Neither Purcell nor Finch were required to file disclosure reports this week. Purcell, who was unopposed in the primary, formed his committee after the Aug. 30 deadline for contributions to be included in the report. Finch did not participate in a primary, instead winning a spot on the ballot by filing signature petitions.

In the only other contested county race, between incumbent Republican Treasurer Roger Hudson and Democratic candidate Deborah McBride-Young, fundraising has not been the top priority for either candidate.

Hudson, who lent his campaign $3,000 to start the year, has raised a total of $4,900. He has spent $2,804.04 and has $2,905 on hand.

McBride-Young has not filed a disclosure report since July 15. She said it was an oversight on the part of her campaign treasurer but noted that she has not raised any significant money since reporting an initial $525 in that July report. Candidates who do not raise much are allowed to file statements of limited activity.

The theme of his fall campaign, Hudson said, will be to portray himself as honest, diligent and dependable.

McBride-Young said she is hoping to ride the wave of political change, including public reaction to troubles at the county commission.

335-6611 extension 126

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