Mo. House candidates file campaign finance disclosures

Thursday, April 15, 2010

State Rep. Billy Pat Wright is relying on his fellow Republican lawmakers to build his campaign treasury as he seeks to fend off the second consecutive challenge from former U.S. representative Bill Burlison.

Meanwhile Burlison, a Democrat from Advance, Mo., who represented Southeast Missouri in Congress from 1969 to 1981, is digging into his own pocket for the second time in an attempt to unseat Wright.

Wright, of Dexter, represents the 159th District, which includes most of Stoddard County, most of southwest Cape Girardeau County and a small portion of Wayne County. He was first elected in 2004, defeating Boyce Wooley. Wright has been re-elected by larger margins in each succeeding election, taking 61.8 percent of the vote against Burlison in 2008.

Wright took in $8,475 during the first three months of the year, including $3,650 from fellow Republican lawmakers, led by $1,000 from state Sen. Rob Mayer, R-Dexter. He has raised $30,195 so far for the November election and had $22,363 in his campaign account.

Burlison lent his campaign $10,000, adding to the $15,200 he has already lent the campaign. He has had no other contributions. At the end of March, Burlison had $10,020 in the bank.

The figures are included in disclosure reports filed this week. Reports for the period ending March 31 are due by the end of today for candidates for both federal and state offices. The report documents can be seen online at semissourian.com.

Burlison said he's again trying to unseat Wright to push his views that the public debt has grown so large that it will undermine economic recovery. He promised to introduce a measure calling for a federal Constitutional Convention to write a balanced budget amendment. If 33 other states joined in, Congress would have to call a convention.

"If within a few years of my incumbency, we could succeed in getting a constitutional amendment, that would be my top goal and priority," Burlison said.

Wright, meanwhile, said he is focused on making sure that schools get adequate state funding as revenue declines. In addition, he said he is pushing to give preferences for disabled veterans seeking state contracts.

"We are trying to take care of our seniors and education and keep everything going," Wright said.

rkeller@semissourian.com

388-3642

Pertinent addresses:

Advance, Mo.

Dexter, Mo.

Jackson, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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