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Greitens outpaces all rivals for governor with latest fundraising tally

Author Eric Greitens talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on March 16, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer
St. Louis Public Radio

(Will be updated as campaign-finance reports are filed)

Republican Eric Greitens, an author and former Navy SEAL, appears to have bested his rivals for governor in both parties with his latest fundraising numbers.

Greitens’ latest campaign report, filed Friday, showed that he has raised $1.5 million since Oct. 1. That puts him slightly ahead of the $1.4 million reported by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, a Democrat and the longstanding fiscal frontrunner in the crowded battle to succeed outgoing Gov. Jay Nixon.

Koster remains the leader when it comes to money in the bank. His latest campaign report shows him with just under $5.8 million. That’s significantly larger than Greitens’ bank account of $3.4 million.

Greitens’ tally includes a recent $500,000 donation from California venture capitalist Michael Goguen, who had given Greitens $500,000 earlier.

Greitens’ campaign noted that his bank account has $3 million more than the possible frontrunner in the four-way GOP contest for governor: Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.

In fact, a Greitens spokesman added later, "We raised more money in Missouri than the rest of our republican opponents combined raised total."

Excluding Greitens’ sizable out-of-state donations, his campaign says he raised close to $604,000 in Missouri during the quarter.

But Koster's campaign countered that 94 percent of his donors came from Missouri.

All Missouri campaign-finance reports for state, legislative and local offices are due at 5 p.m. today.

Kinder lauds lack of big donors

Kinder acknowledged that his rivals for governor likely have more money, so he chose instead to release his official documents first in order to put the best spin on the matter.

His summary sheet, provided late Thursday to St. Louis Public Radio, show that Kinder, a Republican, has accumulated $445,268 in the bank as of Dec. 31.

Kinder reported raising $300, 307 – his strongest quarter since announcing last summer. He reported spending $130,079 during the same period. Overall, he has raised $600,192 and spent $185,832.

But Kinder said in a statement that he’s proud of his money-raising. He emphasized that he’s the only one in the crowded GOP field who doesn’t have a seven-figure donor, or isn’t self-funding.

Lt. Governor Peter Kinder
Credit Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio
Peter Kinder

"There's no billionaire bankrolling me, I'm not a self-funding millionaire, nor do I have a bicoastal network of liberal donors and venture capitalists," Kinder said.

Among the Republicans running this year for governor, former state House Speaker Catherine Hanaway has collected at least $1 million from wealthy St. Louis financier Rex Sinquefield or groups he is bankrolling. Author/former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens, also of St. Louis, has received $1 million from California venture capitalist Michael Goguen.

Meanwhile, St. Louis businessman John Brunner infused his campaign on New Year’s Eve with $3.6 million from his own pocket.

Attorney General Chris Koster delivered the strongest attack against Republicans at the Truman Dinner, the Democratic Party's largest fundraiser.
Credit Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio
Chris Koster

Kinder actually dramatically outraised Hanaway and Brunner during the last quarter, if Brunner's contributions to himself are excluded. Hanaway reported raising only $144,782 since October 1. She has $1.5 million, though, in the bank.

Meanwhile, Brunner reported just over $3.7 million -- but $3.6 million was his own money. Brunner now has $3.6 million in the bank.

Kinder, widely believed to have the most name recognition, contends he won't need as much money as his rivals -- in either party -- to win.

Jo Mannies is a freelance journalist and former political reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.