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Blunt continues to outraise Kander, but the gap is closing

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt are the front runners for the Democratic and Republican nominations in the next Senate race.
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U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt has outraised his Democratic rival, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, according to the latest campaign-finance reports due later this week. But the gap in their bank accounts is closing.

Copies of their official summary sheets due Friday — but made available early to St. Louis Public Radio — show that Blunt collected $2.3 million during the last three months, compared to $1.75 million for Kander.

Blunt, a Republican, now has an edge of a little less than two-to-one in their overall bank accounts.  Blunt has close to $7 million in the bank, compared to almost $4 million for Kander.

But that's closer -- percentage-wise -- than their earlier reports. In January, for example, Blunt reported $5 million in the bank, compared to only $2.1 million for Kander.

Part of the reason is that Blunt, in office since 2011, is spending more. During the past three months, for example, his campaign spent almost $1.04 million, compared to $734,408 for Kander.

Neither man has a serious primary challenger, so both are focusing on the Nov. 8 general election.

The Missouri contest for the U.S. Senate is among the top political battles in the country, and could determine which party gains control of that chamber in January.

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.