Cape mayoral candidate Rediger outraises Hopkins by 12-to-1 margin

Thursday, January 28, 2010
Matt Hopkins

Retired businessman Harry Rediger has raised nearly 12 times as much money for his campaign for Cape Girardeau mayor as his nearest rival, according to reports filed this week with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Rediger's contributors gave his primary election campaign $26,923 through last Thursday, compared to $2,250 raised by former councilman Matt Hopkins. A third candidate in the race, businessman Walter White, has not reported raising or spending any money and is not required to under law unless he raises or spends more than $1,000.

Voters on Tuesday will select candidates for mayor and Ward 2 on the city council. The winners will face off in the general election April 6.

In the three-way primary in Ward 2, none of the three candidates -- certified medical technician Donald Howard Jr., radio sales associate Meg Davis-Proffer and Procter & Gamble human resources/safety leader Stafford Moore -- have filed financial reports, said Cape Girardeau County elections director Joey Keys. All three are spending or raising less than $1,000, he said.

Neither Rediger nor Hopkins has spent large amounts of the money they have raised. Rediger reported spending $4,172 so far, with the largest amounts for yard signs and newspaper advertising. Hopkins' reports spending $222.57, of which $200.83 was spent on campaign photos.

Harry Rediger

By far the largest contribution to Rediger's campaign is a $4,048.50 in-kind donation from The Roberts Group, the Wisconsin-based public relations firm that produces advertising for Saint Francis Medical Center. Rediger is a longtime member of the Saint Francis Medical Center board of directors and was chairman of the board from 1997 to 2007.

"They offered to help early on, the day I announced, in fact," Rediger said.

Two top Saint Francis administrators, president and chief executive officer Steve Bjelich, and Wayne Smith, vice president of development and administrative services, also contributed to Rediger's campaign. Bjelich, along with his wife, Linda, gave $1,000, and Smith, with his wife, Debbie, contributed $500.

The largest single individual contributor to Rediger's campaign is Gary Rust, chairman of the board of Rust Communications, the company that owns the Southeast Missourian, who has given a total of $3,000.

Rediger's list of 77 itemized contributions includes numerous physicians and prominent business people.

Rediger said he is pleased the friendships and professional relations he has built while on the hospital board are bearing fruit in the form of donations. "It is all about relationship building, no question about it," he said. "I have actually been taken aback quite a bit by the outstanding response."

The $26,923 exceeds his expectations, and Rediger said he doesn't intend to aggressively raise money for the general election.

Hopkins' contributor list has seven names, with the largest contribution from Kurt Lindsay of K-Land Title, who gave $500, and John Mackel of Continental Wound Center, who also gave $500.

Hopkins could not be reached Wednesday for comment.


Pertinent address:

401 Independence St., Cape Girardeau, MO

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