Topeka While Republicans were winding up campaigns to see who would challenge her, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius was raking in more than $108,000 in contributions toward her re-election, records show.
Her campaign collected that sum in the 10 days before Tuesday's primaries, adding to the $3 million she already had raised since the beginning of 2005. If her campaign maintained the same $10,800-a-day fundraising pace until the Nov. 7 general election, her total contributions would top $4.2 million.
Sen. Jim Barnett, the GOP nominee, was raising money more slowly than Sebelius in late July, records show. Barnett, emerging from a seven-candidate field, disclosed $10,000 in contributions over three days.
"The governor has been very pleased with the support she's gotten from Kansans," spokeswoman Nicole Corcoran said Thursday. "The people who are supporting the governor agree with the leadership she's shown over the past four years and want that to continue."
State Republican Chairman Tim Shallenburger - who lost the 2002 race to Sebelius - said he wasn't surprised by her campaign's fundraising.
"She has always been very good at that," he said. "It's a lot easier to raise money for an incumbent governor because she's got leverage on a lot of people. She's got everything going for her at the moment, but things can change."
Shallenburger also said Barnett's challenge is not to match Sebelius' fundraising but to collect enough money to get his message out statewide, including on television. He said that probably will require $2 million but predicted Barnett could raise such an amount.
"We'd rather she be broke, but it's absolutely nothing we didn't anticipate," he said. "You can have too much money. What you have to have is a sufficient amount."
Both the Sebelius and Barnett campaigns filed reports with the secretary of state's office before the primary, listing contributors in late July.
The campaigns filed reports on July 24, covering their activities from Jan. 1 through July 20. State law didn't require them to file another report until Oct. 30, but Sebelius filed the first of three updates on July 26, and Barnett followed suit with a single report five days later.
The governor's reports showed that individuals accounted for 59 percent of the money Sebelius received in the days leading up to the primary.
However, she also received a total of $22,000 from 13 labor unions, as well as the $2,000 maximum allowed by law from Home Depot USA, headquartered in Atlanta, and a Bentonville, Ark., political action committee associated with Wal-Mart.
Barnett received a total of $10,000 from July 25-27. Sixty-five percent of it came from individuals, but the biggest contribution, $2,000, was from G&J Aviation Inc., of Wichita.