Topeka Republican U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback has stockpiled nearly $1.2 million for a fall campaign for Kansas governor, almost 10 times as much as the presumed Democratic nominee, according to campaign finance reports filed Monday.
But state Sen. Tom Holland isn’t daunted by the gap, and said Monday that he exceeded his fundraising goal during the five months he’s been in the race.
The candidates had until midnight Monday to file finance reports with the state for campaign activities between Jan. 1 and July 22. It’s the last full report due before the Aug. 3 primary election.
Brownback’s fundraising lead in the governor’s race isn’t a surprise. But some Democrats insist it should be larger, given his 13-plus years in the Senate, though his staff has dismissed the claim.
Brownback’s campaign reported raising $519,271 from Jan. 1 through July 22, bringing his total for the entire campaign to $2.05 million. He’s spent $875,384, including $403,102 this year, so he ended the period with $1.18 million in cash on hand.
Holland, from Baldwin City, raised $282,741 after launching his campaign in February and said his goal had been $250,000. His campaign has spent $179,965, bringing his total cash on hand to $102,775.
“I’m very underwhelmed by what he’s done,” Holland said. “We have more than enough money to get our message out.”
Brownback does face an opponent in the GOP primary, Joan Heffington, of Derby, but she reported raising only $2,589 and finishing the period with an $11,569 deficit.
Three incumbents in other statewide races raised more than their rivals: Attorney General Steve Six, Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger and State Treasurer Dennis McKinney.
But the secretary of state’s race provided some surprises. State Sen. Chris Steineger spent almost twice as much on his Democratic primary campaign than incumbent Chris Biggs. Among the Republican candidates, Kris Kobach, a law professor who helped draft Arizona’s new immigration law, saw his spending dwarfed by that of a lesser-known rival, J.R. Claeys.
Kobach has grabbed most of the attention because of his work nationwide on immigration. His GOP primary opponents are Claeys, former chief executive of the National Association of Government Contractors and Shawnee Count Election Commissioner Elizabeth Ensley.
Kobach, of Piper, raised $61,308 from Jan. 1 through July 22, bringing the total for his campaign to $144,168, not including $56,047 of personal funds he contributed. His total spending was $124,572.
Claeys, of Salina, raised almost nothing this year and has received $35,827 since beginning his campaign in 2008. But he’s also put $300,000 of his own funds into the race — and that allowed him to spend $282,003 this year, most of it on broadcast ads in mid-July.
Ensley began her campaign in January and raised $69,361, contributing $5,000 of her own money. She spent $61,264.
Among the Democrats, Biggs has raised $71,540, almost all of it this year, and contributed $6,000 of his own money. He has spent a total of $43,768 on his campaign.
But Steineger has spent $81,575 since beginning his campaign this year. He’s raised $57,835 and loaned his campaign $50,000.
Six a strong fundraiser
Meanwhile, Six, a Lawrence Democrat who was appointed attorney general after his predecessor resigned, has proven to be a strong fundraiser. He’s raised a total of $819,314 since taking office in 2008, including $235,039 this year.
His Republican opponents are Kansas Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt of Independence, who raised $222,738, including $85,083 this year; and Junction City prosecutor Ralph DeZago, who raised $1,500 in contributions this year, bringing his total to $7,655. DeZago also contributed $4,150 to his campaign.
Praeger’s only opponent for a third term as insurance commissioner is another Republican, David Powell, an El Dorado insurance agent who’s been active in the tea party movement.So far, Praeger has spent $140,237 — four times as much as Powell — since the beginning of 2009. Powell has spent $33,236 on his campaign.
In the treasurer’s race, McKinney, a Democrat, has no primary opponent. Neither does the presumed GOP nominee, Sedgwick County Treasurer Ron Estes.
Estes has raised $4,036 since beginning his campaign this year and has contributed $1,360 of his own funds. McKinney has collected $227,336 since being appointed to office late in 2008.