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February proving to be huge money-raising month for Slay -- but not for Reed

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 19, 2013 - Less than a week before his next campaign report is due, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay already has outpaced every other politician in the state this month by raising more than $106,000 in large donations in less than three weeks.

Slay even outraised Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat known for his frenzied fundraising throughout 2012. (Nixon's large-donor tally so far for February is just over $41,000.)

And Slay’s chief rival, Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed, has collected only one large donation so far this month: $7,000 from the Painters union.

Meanwhile, Slay has collected six contributions since Feb. 1 of more than $5,000 apiece. The most recent ones include:

  • $15,000 from electric-utility giant Ameren;
  • $11,834 from Anheuser-Busch;
  • $10,000 from the St. Louis Cardinals, which was donated Friday, a week after the official groundbreaking for the long-awaited Ballpark Village commercial development.

The mayor’s largest donation for the month remains $50,000 reported earlier from Missourians for Excellence in Government, which is largely bankrolled by wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.