Southeast Missouri's Republican candidates for seats in the state legislature are mostly outraising their Democratic opponents as the election nears, bucking the trend of Democrats beating Republicans in fundraising for statewide offices.
The latest campaign finance reports released by the Missouri Ethics Commission earlier this week showed Democrats with an advantage in every statewide race except for lieutenant governor. Locally, Republicans are faring better, some by large margins.
Holly Rehder, a Republican running for the 148th District House of Representatives, is ahead of Democrat Bart Ziegenhorn. Rehder's report from the most recent period shows she raised $9,580 to Ziegenhorn's $5,230. Rehder's receipts for the election thus far total $71,767. She had $18,826.09 on hand in the report for the past quarter.
Ziegenhorn has around $4,800 on hand with receipts totaling just over $17,000.
Major contributions to Rehder's campaign during the most recent period include $2,000 total from Brad Bedell of Sikeston and his firm, Maverick Consulting, along with several larger donations from other political action committees and a $500 donation from Lloyd Smith, executive director of the Missouri Republican Party.
Ziegenhorn's contributors include several local attorneys along with former Sikeston mayor Mike Marshall, who is the Delta Regional Authority's Alternate federal co-chairman.
In the 149th House district, Democrat Steve Hodges, who serves the 161st district, is outraising his Republican opponent Neal E. Boyd. Hodges had $14,755 on hand as of Monday to Boyd's $932.
Boyd said Wednesday he has some fundraiser picnics planned and that donations have been picking up in recent weeks.
Hodges reported no individual contributors in the most recent period, collecting $3,800 in donations from several political action committees. He has reported numerous individual contributions in the past.
"I'm not one to go out and recruit money from unions or PAC money," Boyd said. He said, instead, he will stay focused on collecting only local individual contributions, which totaled $2,945 during the period.
Larger amounts are flowing in and out over the course of the race for the 25th Senate district, Southeast Missouri's only contested state Senate race.
Republican businessman Doug Libla of Poplar Bluff and state Rep. Terry Swinger, a Democrat from Caruthersville, have been launching attack ads on TV and radio in recent weeks, with Libla accusing Swinger of missing votes in the legislative session and Swinger accusing Libla of receiving government contracts and tax abatements along with pushing a road project, the Poplar Bluff Industrial Park Bypass, for the benefit of his business.
Swinger outraised Libla during the most recent period with over $77,000 in contributions to Libla's $34,928. Libla had $159,479 on hand and Swinger had $312,754.
Major contributors to Swinger recently have included Missouri State Teachers Association and the Missouri School Administrators political action committee, with contributions of $7,500 and $5,000, respectively. The Democratic Senate Committee contributed $25,000.
Libla's backing came mostly from the Missouri Senate Campaign Committee, which made an $11,000 donation, and from Missouri state senators Eric Schmitt, Tom Dempsey and Mike Parson.
In the race for the 151st House district, Republican Dennis Fowler outraised Democrat Ryan William Holder, but Holder currently has more money on hand.
Holder raised $2,780 during the last period while Fowler brought in over $4,400. Fowler's receipts in the election so far total over $18,000 to Holder's $6,905. Holder had $4,014 on hand, according to the ethics commission reports, while Fowler had $2,805.
Poplar Bluff, MO