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Kander fattens bank account for secretary of state bid, while Dillon drops out

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 13, 2012 - State Rep. Jason Kander, D-Kansas City, is reporting more than $442,000 in the bank for his bid for Missouri secretary of state, a haul that comes as his only announced Democratic rival dropped out of the contest.

Kander raised $232,029 during the fourth quarter of 2011, according to a summary sheet from his campaign made available Friday. Reports are not due until next Tuesday.

After spending about $22,851.63 during the three-month period, Kander has $442,091.65 of cash on hand.

"The outpouring of support this campaign has received over the past three months is phenomenal," Kander said in a statement.

"I am particularly gratified by the countless Missourians who went online to support our vision for this office. We will start 2012 in a strong position to win this race and ensure that we have a secretary of state that is committed to improving the lives of Missouri families."

Up until this week, Kander was headed toward a Democratic primary with Rolla native Ryan Dillon. Not any more.

Dillon, a former aide to former U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Lexington, confirmed to the Beacon that he was dropping out of the race.

"I have had to turn my attention to my family obligations," Dillon said. "I was not going to be able to focus the amount of energy and time needed on the campaign. And my family comes first. As of Wednesday, I am no longer a candidate."

Three Republicans -- state Sen. Bill Stouffer, R-Napton, state Sen. Scott Rupp, R-St. Charles, and House Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller, R-Willard -- are running for the statewide office. Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, a Democrat, is not running for re-election.

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.