Haswood leads fundraising totals for contested area House seat; Holland and Dove gearing up for expensive general election

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Kansas Statehouse in Topeka

One week out from the Democratic primary to fill the vacant seat representing Kansas’ 10th District in the state House of Representatives — the only contested House seat in the Douglas County area — reports filed Monday gave a clearer look at the race’s financial picture.

Three Democrats — Christina Haswood, 26, A.J. Stevens, 49, and Brandon Holland, 31 — are vying for the seat vacated by Rep. Eileen Horn, D-Lawrence, who announced in April that she wouldn’t seek another term in office. Campaign finance reports, required to be filed by all legislative candidates by 11:59 p.m. Monday, revealed that in terms of donor contributions, Haswood led her competitors by a wide margin.

The lifelong Lawrence resident, who currently works as a health care researcher, raised $15,860 since the beginning of the year. She also garnered donations from some well-known Democrats in the state, including former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, and Horn, according to her report.

Haswood’s fundraising haul, raised in two months, came from 238 contributions from the 10th District, across Kansas, and from more than 20 other states and Washington, D.C. The donors from the nation’s capital do not include any elected officials.

Haswood spent $3,694 of what she raised as of the July 23 deadline, a majority of which went toward a political consultant based in Andover.

Stevens, who works as the CEO of Baldwin City and Southern Railroad, self-funded nearly all of his campaign resources, according to his report. The former Baldwin City Council member loaned himself just over $44,000 and spent $25,349 on various campaign expenses, including consulting services, paying staffers and printing campaign materials.

In a press release Tuesday, Stevens said he self-funded the campaign so community members wouldn’t have to pay extra money during the COVID-19 pandemic that has strapped many Kansans financially.

Holland, a lifelong Baldwin City resident who manages a small liquor store in Lawrence, raised $8,161 for the campaign, according to his report. Holland, the son of Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, spent $4,905 of that haul on various campaign advertising.

The elder Holland, who doesn’t face a primary challenger, will face a general election challenge from current Rep. Willie Dove, R-Bonner Springs.

Their respective campaign finance reports indicate that the race will be an expensive one.

Still over three months from the general election, Dove raised $17,225 since January in an attempt to take down Holland, who has served in the Legislature since 2003. Much of Dove’s fundraising came from political action committees, seven of which gave him $1,000 donations and another which donated $500. He spent only $3,280 during the reporting period on yard signs and consulting services.

Holland in the same period raised $17,658, and also received several contributions from PACs, nearly all of which donated $500. Holland also wrote himself a check for $6,615, according to his report. He spent $12,381 during the reporting period on various campaign advertisements, but as a longtime incumbent, he still has plenty of cash on hand. Going into the Nov. 3 general election, Holland reported he still has $31,419 available to him.

Other area legislators who are not facing primary challengers or general election opponents from the Republican Party also filed updated campaign finance reports Monday. Those include:

Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, raised $1,875 since January, spent $7,265, and has $18,152 on hand.

Rep. Mike Amyx, D-Lawrence, raised $602, spent $260, and has $11,110 on hand.

Rep. Boog Highberger, D-Lawrence, raised $340, spent $3,170, and has $3,591 on hand.

Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, raised $4,132, spent $13,218, and has $18,886 on hand.

Primary elections in Kansas will take place Aug. 4 ahead of the Nov. 3 general election.


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