Topeka — Republican Rep. Jerry Moran has stockpiled $3.1 million for his Senate campaign and kept up a big lead in cash over rival GOP Rep. Todd Tiahrt, reports from their campaigns showed Wednesday.
Tiahrt’s campaign reported having $1.4 million in cash on hand at the end of June. That meant Moran finished the year’s second quarter with a cash advantage of more than 2-to-1, roughly where the gap stood when the first quarter ended.
Tiahrt remained undaunted, suggesting his campaign organization is already in better shape because he has had more competitive House races in the past than Moran. Tiahrt said he’s pleased with his fundraising.
The primary election is in August 2010, and Moran and Tiahrt are seeking to replace Sen. Sam Brownback, a Republican who’s running for governor. No Democratic candidate has started campaigning.
Tiahrt has represented the 4th Congressional District of south-central Kansas since 1995, and Moran has held the seat for the sprawling 1st District, which includes western Kansas, since 1997. Their campaign finance reports were filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Most of Moran’s cash advantage came from money he has been able to stockpile in his House account and transfer to his Senate account. Moran has transferred $2.4 million from his House account to his Senate campaign, compared with $1 million for Tiahrt.
Since winning his first GOP primary for the House in 1996, Moran has faced little serious opposition, running without major party opposition in four of his seven congressional races.
Tiahrt and his aides have said that another reason Moran has been able to stockpile more money is that he has given less than Tiahrt to other GOP candidates over the years.
“I have an infrastructure in place that is time-tested and proven,” Tiahrt said. “I don’t need the same amount of money.”
Aaron Trost, Moran’s campaign manager, said the numbers have shown consistent, strong financial support for him. As for what Tiahrt’s staff call the “generosity gap,” Trost said: “I think there’s kind of a reality gap.”
Moran’s campaign reported raising nearly $385,000 in contributions from April 1 through June 30 and spending about $178,000. It listed an additional $30,000 in pending bills on its report.
Tiahrt’s campaign raised almost $322,000 in contributions during the second quarter and had about $222,000 in expenses.