In money race, Clay and Carnahan virtually tied while Luetkemeyer is the incumbent leader
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 18, 2012 - U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, may have snagged the early endorsements, but his August primary rival – U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis – holds an early edge when it comes to cash.
The latest campaign-finance reports, filed this week, show that Carnahan has $488,481 in the bank as of March 31, compared to $406,066 for Clay.
Since the beginning of 2011, Carnahan has raised more than twice as much as Clay – but he’s also spent twice as much, the chief reason the two are financially so closely matched now.
Although candidates often tout “money raised’’ as their chief figure, it’s the money in the bank that counts the most, until the last couple months of an election. Money saved now, is money spent later on TV ads.
Carnahan has decided to challenge Clay in the Aug. 7 primary after the two were tossed into the same district during the redistricting process last year. The Republican-controlled General Assembly redrew the boundaries for the state’s remaining eight districts, as of next January, and overrode Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto – prompted, in part, by the de factor merger of the Clay and Carnahan seats.
Although candidate filing ended weeks ago, the state Supreme Court has yet to rule on paired court challenges seeking to toss out the map and require legislators to draw up a new one.
Clay has noted that about 80 percent of the new 1st District used to be in his current 1st District. The rest – taking in part of south-central St. Louis County -- is from the old 3rd District, which has been represented by Carnahan since 2005.
The new 3rd District, which spans from Franklin and St. Charles counties to west-central Missouri, takes in the home of U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth, who now represents the soon-to-be-gone 9th District.
And Luetkemeyer also has been amassing a large political warchest – although he has no major rivals in either party. Luetkemeyer reported $828,030 in the bank, the most of any of Missouri’s sitting members of the U.S. House. (He also has the most debt, $1.29 million, stemming from his 2008 bid to win the seat.)
He’s outpaced only by former Ambassador Ann Wagner, who has $1.07 million for her GOP bid for the open 2nd District seat. Her chief Republican rival, former Webster Groves City Councilman Randy Jotte, reported $154,515 in the bank, with a $100,000 debt.
In the 8th District, in southeast Missouri, U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Cape Girardeau, reported $248,588 in the bank, while Democratic opponent Bob Parker reported only $2,690 on hand.
Outstate, in the 4th District, U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Harrisonville, reported $353,820 in the bank, compared to $234,815 for her chief Democratic challenger, Theresa Hensley.
In northwest Missouri, in the 6th District, U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, R-Tarkio, reported $403,145 in the bank. In southwest Missouri, in the 7th District, U.S. Rep. Billy Long, R-Springfield, reported $374,317 on hand.
And in the 5th District, which takes in Kansas City and nearby suburbs, U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Kansas City, reported $440,708 in the bank.