Carnahan has $3.5 million, Talent $2.1 million

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

WASHINGTON -- Democratic Sen. Jean Carnahan banked nearly $3.47 million in her bid to return to the Senate, while Republican Jim Talent closed the gap slightly by building his war chest to more than $2.12 million.

With help from President Bush, Talent out-raised Carnahan in the first three months of the year, pulling in about $1.33 million to Carnahan's $1.27 million. Nearly a third of Talent's take for the period came from a fund-raising dinner in St. Louis that featured Bush and brought in an estimated $450,000.

In all, Carnahan has raised more than $5.57 million in her effort to finish the term her husband won posthumously two years ago. Talent has raised more than $3.1 million since announcing his candidacy last August.

Both campaigns released first-quarter finance reports on Monday, when they were due at the Federal Election Commission in Washington. Carnahan, 68, and Talent, 45, are expected to be nominated and appear on the ballot in November.

The race has a high profile nationally because both political parties believe the outcome will help determine whether Democrats retain their one-vote majority in the Senate. The Missouri candidates are among the nation's top money-raisers.

"We did very well; we're really ahead of the pace we set last time, which was a great pace," Talent said of his campaign in an interview Friday, before releasing his totals.

In an interview Monday, Carnahan said: "I was pretty proud of that -- we have a wonderful fund-raising team, and we know that unfortunately, that's one measure of success."

They each spent more than half a million dollars on operating their campaigns over the past three months. Carnahan reported spending $565,085; Talent spent $528,344. A spokesman for Talent said that amount includes most of the transportation and security cost of bringing Bush to St. Louis, an expense campaigns must shoulder.

Talent collected more money in contributions from individual donors, who are limited to giving a candidate $1,000 apiece for the primary and general election for a total limit of $2,000. Individual donations to Talent's campaign were nearly $1.15 million, compared to more than $1.03 million for Carnahan.

Carnahan received more money from political action committees, which can give candidates $5,000 apiece for the primary and general elections for a total limit of $10,000. PACs gave $189,485 to Carnahan and $176,265 to Talent.

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