Jerry Moran retained his fundraising lead over Todd Tiahrt in the Republican U.S. Senate primary, according to recent numbers the campaigns released Wednesday.
Moran, of Hays, raised $538,000 in the year’s second quarter through June 30 compared with Tiahrt’s $451,000, but Tiahrt’s campaign said the congressman from Goddard was closing the overall gap of cash on hand for the Aug. 3 primary.
The two Kansas congressmen are the main GOP contenders for the Senate seat to replace Sam Brownback, who is running for governor.
The race has heated up in the last two weeks with three debates, where the candidates have traded barbs over tax policy, immigration and their records on what do to with terrorism suspects.
Moran’s campaign said it closed the second quarter with more than $2.2 million in cash and played up an endorsement from Sen. Jim DeMint, of South Carolina.
“Despite months of false, negative attacks from our opponent, you’ve played a crucial role in providing the resources we need to get the message out all across Kansas about my record of standing up for Kansas and taking on Washington’s spending,” Moran said in a statement to supporters.
Tiahrt’s campaign said last quarter’s fundraising haul was encouraging and that he cut into Moran’s overall cash lead in money earmarked for the primary.
The Tiahrt campaign said among only primary funds Moran has $1.9 million in cash compared with nearly $1.1 million for Tiahrt.
“Our record-breaking fundraising numbers are reflective of the momentum we see across the state as more Kansans are throwing their support behind Todd Tiahrt, who has never voted for a tax increase and has the backing of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and the Tea Party Express,” said Michelle Schroeder, a Tiahrt campaign spokeswoman.
Tiahrt has played up recent endorsements from Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, and former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, of Colorado, who said he switched support to Tiahrt from Moran based on immigration policy issues.
Advance voting in Kansas for the Aug. 3 primary began today.