Winning candidates often, but not always, draw the largest campaign contributions, says a Kansas University political expert.
Some have hit up their friends and a few political action committees.
Others are digging deep into their own pockets. And some are running on a shoestring budget.
Contributions listed on reports candidates turned in to the state last week show why some local candidates have been able to put out more yard signs and political mailings than others.
"Money is a factor in political races, but it's not clear whether it's a cause or an effect," said Russell Getter, an associate professor of political science and government
"We know, by and large, that winning candidates tend to spend more money than losing candidates, but it may be that winning candidates get more money because they are more popular," Getter said. "So the amount of money they have to spend may be a function of their popularity long before the day of the election."
However, Getter said it's not wise to jump to the conclusion that money is the only key to winning an election.
The biggest campaign chest among local Statehouse candidates has been put together by Republican Tom Sloan, a rural Lawrence sheep farmer who has experience in state government.
Sloan, who received $3,850 from Jan. 1 through July 21, faces Wesley Glenn, Big Springs, in the GOP primary for the Kansas House 45th District.
The district covers western Douglas County and a few areas of Lawrence, including North Lawrence, the Pinckney and Indian Hills neighborhoods and part of Old West Lawrence and Prairie Meadows neighborhoods.
Sloan's contribution list shows he had donations from 13 individuals totaling $2,150 and $1,700 from political action committees representing an oil company, a utility company, contractors and health professionals.
Meanwhile, the reports showed Glenn was financing his own campaign. He had loaned himself $1,976.26 as of July 21.
The winner of the primary will face incumbent Democrat Forrest Swall, who received $3,545 during the reporting period. Most of Swall's contributions came in amounts less than $50 that were not itemized. He received $1,350 from political action committees representing teachers, trial lawyers, dentists and the Fourth Financial Corp.
Across town in the eastern Lawrence 46th District Republican primary, Eric Schmidt, a stockbroker, had brought in $1,120 in donations, which included $100 from himself and $250 from two property management businesses.
He had also contributed $3,190 in in-kind contributions to his campaign.
Schmidt's opponent, Clenece Hills, a teacher, had said early in the campaign she would take no donations. Her report showed she had accepted a registered voter list from the local Republican Party valued at $35.
In the 46th District Democratic primary, Troy Findley, who works for the state Democratic Party in Topeka, had received $3,085 during the period in cash from 20 individuals, including $1,000 from himself, and $72.31 in in-kind contributions.
Findley's opponent, Richard Small, a construction worker, received $255.39 during the period, of which $245.39 came from his own pocket.
State Rep. Barbara Ballard, a Democrat who represents the western Lawrence 44th District, drew no opponents for the primary or the general.
She received $1,288.15 during the reporting period, including $650 from political action committees representing dentists, trucking companies, teachers, health insurance companies, an oil company and health professionals.
- See list of campaign contributions, page 5A.