Carnahan's failed election bid broke fund-raising records

Friday, December 6, 2002

WASHINGTON -- Former Democratic Sen. Jean Carnahan smashed records by raising nearly $12.3 million for her unsuccessful 2002 Senate campaign -- $3.64 million more than the challenger who defeated her, Republican Jim Talent.

Talent raised $8.65 million overall. The totals were included in reports due Thursday to the Federal Election Commission spanning activity 20 days before and 20 days after the general election, which Talent won with 50 percent of the vote to Carnahan's 49 percent.

The fund-raising totals do not include the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on TV and radio commercials and mailings by political parties and outside groups. These groups spent more than a quarter of a million dollars apiece to support or oppose Talent and Carnahan in the final 20 days of the campaign.

The fund-raising for the entire cycle breaks down this way:

Carnahan raised $9.94 million from individual donors, who could give a total of $2,000 each over the course of the election. Talent raised $6.2 million from individual donors.

She brought in $1.62 million from political action committees, which are run by interest groups or associated with companies or industries. They could contribute as much as $10,000 each during this election cycle. Talent brought in $1.8 million from PACs.

Political party committees gave Carnahan $16,500; other fund-raising operations transferred another $627,133 to her campaign. Political party committees gave Talent $171,800; other fund-raising operations transferred another $472,395 to his campaign.

By comparison, in the 2000 Senate race, Democratic Gov. Mel Carnahan raised $8.5 million to unseat Republican incumbent Sen. John Ashcroft, who raised $8.9 million. Carnahan died in a plane crash three weeks before the election, but voters chose him anyway knowing his widow would serve until the 2002 election.

Outside groups who spent money in the campaign's final days on Mrs. Carnahan's behalf included abortion rights groups and the National Education Association.

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