Nearly $1 million spent on 10th Senate District primary
Advertising and voter education dominated campaign spending during the Republican primary stretch for Missouri’s 10th Senate District.
As voters finalize their decisions ahead of Tuesday’s Republican primary, the latest campaign finance filings with the Missouri Ethics Commission show some candidates have spent tens of thousands of dollars boosting their name recognition in the during the last month of the campaign.
State Representatives Travis Fitzwater, R-Holts Summit and Jeff Porter, R-Montgomery City, are running to represent the 10th Senate District, as are former State Representative Bryan Spencer, R-Wentzville and Justice of WentzvilleMike Carter. Joshua Price, an auto shop worker from Mexico City, Missouri, is also on the run.
Senator Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane, currently holds the position, but faces term limits and cannot stand for re-election. The winner of the Republican primary will face Libertarian candidate Catherine Dreher in the November 8 general election.
Carter and Price did not file campaign finance returns by the July 25 deadline, but Fitzwater, Porter and Spencer did. Fitzwater and Porter spent the most in the first three weeks of July.
Spencer’s campaign spent just over $124,200 and raised $460 from July 1-21. Fitzwater’s campaign spent more than $122,000 and raised more than $34,600 during the same period.
Campaign marketing and advertising have been Spencer’s only expenses in recent weeks. His campaign spent $119,693 on printing and direct mail and $4,511 on media advertising in the first three weeks of July.
Spencer’s campaign had $13,682 in cash at the end of the reporting period. A single donation this cycle was over $100, with a $150 contribution from Bernie McCann.
Fitzwater’s spending in recent weeks has focused on advertising and consulting. He spent more than $110,300 on advertising and marketing, $7,000 consulting with Axiom Strategies, just over $2,000 on campaign supplies and staff, and nearly $2,000 on campaign meals, fuel and lodging.
Fitzwater’s campaign had nearly $54,000 in cash at the end of the reporting period, July 21.
Donors who have contributed $1,000 or more in total to Fitzwater’s campaign this time include: Rex Sinquefield, $2,400; Lance Beshore, $2,400; Sharon Beshore, $2,400; Missouri Insurance Coalition PAC, $2,400; Missouri Realtors PAC Inc, $2,400; RightPath PAC, $2,400; Missouri Dental PAC, $2,400; MBA Capitol Region PAC, $2,000; Fred Schmidt, $2,000; Jennifer Bukowski, $2,000; Brant Bukowski, $2,000; Missouri Medical PAC, $1,900; MO Soybean Association State PAC, $1,650; Patrick Cox, $1,561; Missouri Corn Growers Association State PAC, $1,400; Good Government for Missouri PAC, $1,000; and Missouri American Water Employees PAC, $1,000.
The Fitzwater campaign contributors who gave a total of $500 to $999 this cycle were: Central to Good Government PAC, $500; Karen Fitzwater, $500; Jeannette Bernskötter, $500; and Patrick Hurley, $500.
Donors who gave between $100 and $499 to Fitzwater’s campaign this cycle overall include: Fischer Grain Farms, $250; Jeremy Leach, $250; Julianna Berghaus, $250; Lisa Umfleet, $250; Douglas Rademaker, $250; Robert Robuck, $250; Brendan Dungan, $250; Henry Stratman, $200; Lee Wollgast, $200; Bond Tiffany, $104; Don Kooncé, $104; and Clint Smith, $100.
Porter’s campaign has lagged in spending over the past cycle. In the first three weeks of July, he spent nearly $37,750 on his state Senate race and raised just over $21,000.
Porter’s spending in recent weeks has focused on advertising and consulting, with more than $31,900 spent on media, direct mail and advertising for county fairs and $3,775 going to Carolina’s Campaign Consulting.
Porter’s campaign had $26,306 in cash at the end of the reporting period.
Donors who have contributed $1,000 or more in total to Porter’s campaign this time include: Missouri NEA PAC, $2,400; Enterprise Holdings Inc PAC, $2,400; MOSFA PAC Inc, $2,400; Missouri Realtors PAC Inc, $2,346; MBA Capitol Region PAC, $2,000; MO PAC Council of Consulting Engineers, $1,900; Fellowship of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Missouri PAC, $1,500; Joseph Gildehaus, $1,500; Heath Sellenriek, $1,000; Xcaliber MO PAC, $1,000; MBA area of Mark Twain PAC, $1,000; and POL PAC, $1,000.
Porter campaign contributors who gave a total of $500 to $999 this round were: Missouri American Water Employees PAC, $750; Tri County Labor Legislative Club, $700; Richard Boschert, $500; Bryan Groeber, $500; and International Union of Elevator Builders PAC, $500.
Donors who have given Porter’s campaign between $100 and $499 this cycle include: Michael Spirz, $300; Dennis Benney, $250; Missouri Podiatry PAC, $250; Fair Play Missouri PAC, $250; John Fisher, $100; Robert Davis, $100; Thomas Eggering, $100; and Matthew Milner, $100.
Throughout the primary election season, Fitzwater spent $157,604 on his bid for the state Senate and raised $161,336. Porter spent more than $148,800 on the campaign and raised nearly $200,000. Spencer spent over $146,400 and raised over $139,000.
Carter, who did not file an updated financial report, spent the biggest amount of the race at $462,168 – almost all of which went to billboards, print media, radio , social media and other forms of advertising. His campaign has raised nearly $522,500 in total, largely representing a half-million dollar loan he made to his campaign.
No campaign finance data was available for Price, the last Republican in the race.
After Tuesday’s primary results, the Republican candidate will turn his attention to the general election race against Dreher, the Libertarian candidate.
Dreher has raised over $1,750 so far and had $500 in cash at the end of June. His latest MEC filing says his finances haven’t changed more than $500 since then.