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US Sen. McCaskill up to $5.1 million in bank as she readies for 2018 re-election bid

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., April 2017
Provided | Office of Sen. Claire McCaskill
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is gearing up for her 2018 re-election bid.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill still doesn’t know who she’ll be up against in the 2018 midterm elections. She’s ready for the fight, however, having banked a little more than $5.1 million.

That’s almost twice the size of her campaign fund in July 2011, which was the last time she was preparing for a re-election contest.

Campaign finance reports are due Saturday, but the Missouri Democrat on Wednesday provided to St. Louis Public Radio copies of the summary sheets her campaign must file federally. McCaskill’s filings show that she has raised $3.18 million since April 1, most of it from individuals, and $8.26 million overall. She already has spent $3.5 million.

In July 2011, McCaskill had $2.8 million in the bank. But for the 2012 election, she raised and spent about $22 million in her successful battle against Republican Todd Akin, who was crippled politically by his comments about “legitimate rape.’

Then, as now, McCaskill was deemed among the most vulnerable Senate Democrats.

The Republicans haven’t announced who will take on McCaskill. U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, a Republican from Ballwin, was on a similar fundraising clip as McCaskill before announcing this month that she was forgoing a bid for the Senate and instead will try to keep her seat.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, who took office in January, is being encouraged to challenge McCaskill. But any money in his state campaign accounts cannot be used for a federal contest.

Hawley spokesman Scott Paradise confirmed this week that Vice President Mike Pence is pushing for the first-term Republican official to run against McCaskill. Hawley has not said whether he’ll do so.

Jason Rosenbaum contributed to this report.

Follow Jo on Twitter: @jmannies

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.

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