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Montee reports just under $78,000 in bank for lieutenant governor bid

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 17, 2012 - Amid news that she could be facing more competition, former state Auditor Susan Montee collected more than $104,000 during the last three months of 2011, the most recent fundraising quarter for her bid this fall for lieutenant governor.

The period's campaign-finance reports are due today.

Montee -- a St. Joseph native who recently finished a stint as Missouri Democratic Party chairwoman -- raised $104,673. (Click here to view her report). After spending $27,089.53 during the period, Montee has $77,583.47 of cash on hand.

Those figures are more robust than the other announced Democratic candidate for lieutenant. State conservation commissioner Becky Plattner -- a Grand Pass native who unsuccessfully ran for lieutenant governor in 2008 --raised $25 during the last fundraising quarter. She has $13,004.89 of cash on hand after spending $1,465.00.

Montee lost her bid for another term as state auditor against Republican Tom Schweich. When she entered the lieutenant governor's race last fall, Montee seemed to be on a collision coursewith House Speaker Steve Tilley, R-Perryville.

But since Tilley dropped out of the contest, the Republican field has expanded to include incumbent Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, state Sen. Brad Lager, R-Savannah, and possibly state Sen. Luann Ridgeway, R-Smithville. Wentzville attorney Mike Carter -- who ran as a Democrat for theoffice in 2008 -- also announced a GOP bid.

Still, another Democratic candidate is mulling entry into the contest. Earlier this month, former state Rep. Judy Baker, D-Columbia, told the Associated Pressshe was considering the lieutenant governor's race. Baker has yet to return calls from the St. Louis Beacon.

Baker, who recently stepped down as a regional director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, narrowly lost a bid in 2008 for the U.S. 9th District House seat against Republican Blaine Luetkemeyer.

In addition to the Democratic and Republican contenders for the office, former state Rep. Cynthia Davis, R-O'Fallon, is running for the office as a member of the Constitutional Party. Davis has roughly $3,999.44 of cash on hand after raising $4,289.47 and spending $1,273.20 during the last fundraising quarter.

Jason Rosenbaum, a freelance writer in St. Louis, covers state and local government and politics. 

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