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January 2016 Tip Sheet: Statewide Races

  

US SENATE

REPUBLICANS
Senator Roy Blunt

Blunt PHOTO/TIM BOMMEL - MISSOURI HOUSE
Blunt
PHOTO/MISSOURI HOUSE

Senator Blunt’s campaign has remained focused on his broad-based strategy that makes him a tough opponent in any general election. He seems to have avoided a primary competitor which will allow him to kick his general election campaign into high gear coming out of filing. He will have the cash advantage, and the help of some traditionally Democratic allies to defend his seat. It may be as in 2010, when his best friend was President Barack Obama, who – once Stan Kroenke fades from the headlines – will quickly reclaim his status as the most unpopular person in Missouri.
Raised in Quarter: $1.3 million
Cash on Hand: $5 million

DEMOCRATS
Secretary of State Jason Kander

Kander
Kander

Kander has been running an excellent campaign, and that has been shown in his rising rankings amongst senate races nationwide. He has been laser-focused on attacking Sen. Blunt and has done a good job getting some in the media to pick up on his missives. The campaign took an odd detour for a few weeks attacking the senator’s family that showed an uncharacteristic lack of focus from Kander. It seems unlikely that Missourians will look kindly upon dragging candidate’s families into the fray, but in recent days, Kander seems to have refocused on issues. Luckily for Kander, the General Assembly has been flooding the calendar with ethics proposals which validates a lot of Kander’s messaging as secretary of state. This will be a close race and seems to hinge on if Kander can be a top-seven race nationally, and if he can distance himself from the president.
Raised in Quarter: $870k
Cash on Hand: $2.1 million

GOVERNOR

REPUBLICANS
Former Navy Seal Eric Greitens

Greitens
Greitens

Another strong fundraising quarter by Greitens keeps his momentum going, and you know you’re successful when your opponents aren’t snickering at your totals, but critiquing where it came from. It’s likely true that the millions Greitens is raising from around the country would be more valuable if raised predominately from around the state, but let’s be real – it all still spends.

The Lincoln Day circuit will be interesting for Greitens to see if his very good speech making skills connect with a base when he has been so critical of their local elected state reps and senators. Further, it will be interesting to see how the campaign to highlight his past as a Democrat have made inroads with loyal Republican activists. Victory Enterprises will keep him connected with their network, but the first quarter will be telling in how successful he has been at connecting his background and fundraising to activist support.
Raised in Quarter: $1.3 million
Cash on Hand: $3.4 million
Consultant: Victory Enterprises

Lt. Governor Peter Kinder

Kinder
Kinder

Kinder’s $300k certainly exceeded expectations and puts him on track to reach the $1 to $1.5 million that he likely needs to enter July as the front runner. Kinder’s name ID and network of supporters have make him the one to beat, so long as he can stay on track with this fundraising. Greitens likely proves this theory when he came out of the gate for the year attacking Kinder.

One other note: Kinder seems to be really enjoying this campaign. Several observers have noted that he is more upbeat and on point than any time in they recall in recent memory.
Raised in Quarter: $300k
Cash on Hand: $445k

Former House Speaker Catherine Hanaway

Catherine Hanaway speaks at a campaign event in St. Louis Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. (PHOTO/Travis Zimpfer - The Missouri Times)
Hanaway PHOTO/Travis Zimpfer – The Missouri Times

Hanaway has perhaps the most geographically diverse support of any candidate, and can thank a loyal team of former legislators who served with her in the House for that. She is the most competitive candidate thus far with Greitens, and has a very strong claim to the electability argument as the only woman in the field matching up against Attorney General Chris Koster. With a tumultuous winter behind her, she can now focus on moving forward.
Raised in Quarter: $137k
Cash on Hand: $1.5 million
Consultant: Axiom Strategies

Businessman John Brunner

Brunner
Brunner

He was the last to officially announce and did so with a series of web videos highlighting his service to the country. He is the only successful businessman in the race and has a record of military service like Greitens. One advantage is his run in 2012 cultivated a large core of Tea Party supporters that are still loyal to him. He is the wild card in the race, as he has the military service and can afford to fund his campaign to match Greitens. How Brunner plays his cards may be the most interesting aspect of the primary.
Raised in Quarter: $3.6 million
Cash on Hand: $3.6 million
Consultant: Barklage & Knodell

DEMOCRATS
Attorney General Chris Koster

Koster
Koster

Koster continues to set a new bar in fundraising, with the vast majority of it being from Missouri centered supporters, while returning more than several other candidates have raised due to his instituting the strictest conflict of interest policies in the nation. Perhaps more importantly than the fundraising is that Koster has spent a great deal of the fourth quarter campaigning in places that Democrats are typically crushed in.

He is in the enviable position of being a Democrat who is not only likely win the fundraising battle, but is likely the candidate who most comfortable speaking to farmers and agriculture groups. He will be tough to beat, but then there is Obama. No one in the history of the world has sold more guns and elected more Republicans than President Obama. Can Koster get enough distance to be elected governor?
Raised in Quarter: $1.3 million
Cash on Hand: $5.7 million

LT. GOVERNOR

REPUBLICANS
Senator Mike Parson

Parson
Parson

When incumbent Lt. Governor Peter Kinder announced he was running for governor, Parson moved quickly to the LG race and has hit the ground running. Building off of his strong fundraising history as a senior senator and his statewide connections from the successful Right to Farm campaign, he has emerged as the front runner. With Carnahan entering the race look for republicans to start talking about avoiding a primary, and if that conversation gets serious its highly unlikely Parson is the one moving out of the race.
Raised in Quarter: $211k
Cash on Hand: $1 million
Consultant: J. Harris Company

Bev Randles

Randles
Randles

The Randles campaign was starting to look like a campaign in trouble with another anemic fundraising quarter. Then republican mega-donor David Humphries came in with a large contribution that breathed new life into the Randles effort (how many senators would like to have that PQ vote back now). While she isn’t exactly burning through her money, she likely needs to show some very nice web campaigns for the $300k of Sinquefield’s million dollar contribution to kick off her campaign. She has many appealing attributes to Republican strategists being a woman, having a Kansas City base, a network of connections from serving as the chair of the Missouri Club for Growth and being an African-American. However, with the race now including a top tier democrat recruit in Carnahan there are likely conversations underway about trying to avoid a costly primary.
Raised in Quarter: $18k
Cash on Hand: $645k
Consultant: Turning Point Public Affairs

DEMOCRATS

Carnahan
Carnahan

Former Congressman Russ Carnahan

Carnahan’s long rumored entrance to the race was confirmed on filing day, when he formed his campaign committee. The entrance was predicated on solid polling numbers and the outstanding name ID associated with being the son of a governor and senator as well as the brother of the Secretary of State. Assuming the former congressman can put up solid fundraising numbers, look for Carnahan to quickly take control of the race and stake a serious claim to be next in line after Koster.
Raised in Quarter: Committee filed January 15th.
Cash on Hand: Committee filed January 15th.

Dr. Brad Bradshaw

Bradshaw PHOTO/BRAD BRADSHAW
Bradshaw
PHOTO/BRAD BRADSHAW

The very quotable doctor and lawyer has shown his financial commitment to the race, and has told many Democrats he is willing to contribute more. Bradshaw, stemming from Southwest Missouri, could be a candidate that adds some geographical balance to the Democratic statewide ticket. He certainly adds personality to it.
Raised in Quarter: $18k
Cash on Hand: $415k

Representative Tommie Pierson

Pierson
Pierson

Rep. Pierson is a serious candidate. Being a minister from the Ferguson-area, he is an ideal candidate to help unite and turnout African-American voters in the first election in some time where President Obama will not be front and center. His challenge will likely always be fundraising and the question is, can he compete against the other candidates, all of whom have proven to be good fundraisers? Further will Congressman Clay, whose organization will be awakened by the primary challenge of Senator Chappelle-Nadal push to help Pierson after the primary where Clay defeated Carnahan in 2012.
Raised in Quarter: $19k
Cash on Hand: $9k

ATTORNEY GENERAL

REPUBLICANS
Senator Kurt Schaefer

Schaefer

Schaefer has had a great quarter, not withstanding the fundraising. He began the quarter questioning how much the state funded university that is in his senate district would subsidize his opponent, and ended exposing that university’s ties to Planned Parenthood and ultimately closing an abortion clinic also in his district. Quarters like that don’t come around often for candidates in Republican primaries.
On the fundraising front, he ended the quarter with a 2-to-1 lead over his opponent, and received a $500,000 contribution from Rex Sinquefield just after the quarter ended. On the downside, his opponent received a $500,000 donation from the state’s leading Right-to-Work supporter after Schaefer both voted for the bill and a House-style PQ. With friends like those, who needs enemies?
Raised in Quarter: $645k
Cash on Hand: $2 million
Consultant: Barklage & Knodell

University of Missouri Professor Josh Hawley

Hawley
Hawley

Hawley had another solid fundraising quarter, and seems to be laying the ground work for some large donations from out of state. He will need them in what promises to be the bloodiest primary on the docket. Its always hard for candidates who have never run before to endure the vetting that goes while on a big stage. Things that make perfect sense in context don’t always break through. Like explaining to someone in Dexter that there is a good Iranian Mujahideen. Further Hawley is being introduced to Missouri republicans while his employer the University of Missouri is one of the least popular entities in the world to the republican base. This race really doesn’t start until the paid media attacks begin, and Hawley has the money to launch some.
Raised in Quarter: $136k
Cash on Hand: $802k

DEMOCRATS
St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman

Zimmerman
Zimmerman

Zimmerman has two undeniable strengths, a track record of winning elections in democratic primary vote-rich St. Louis County and the ability to out-raise his opponent. He stands today as the front runner in the race and is unlikely to be outworked by anyone.
He will likely remain the front runner as long as is able to effectively address questions surrounding some hearing on tax assessments in odd places. Either way, Zimmerman will have the money to answer any attacks, and the ability to launch a few of his own.
Raised in Quarter: $161k
Cash on Hand: $1.1 million
Consultant: Jim Ross

Former Cass County Prosecutor Teresa Hensley

Hensley
Hensley

Hensley entered the race just as State Senator Scott Sifton left it to run for re-election, picking up his endorsement. Hensley had a decent quarter, but will have to work hard to keep up with Zimmerman on the fundraising front.
Her advantage is that as a woman in the Democratic primary, she may only need to match him at 60 to 70 cents on the dollar to keep the race competitive. She did so in the 4th quarter, but has a great deal of ground to make up to meet that threshold overall.
Raised in Quarter: $111k
Cash on Hand: $228k

STATE TREASURER

REPUBLICANS
State Senator Eric Schmitt

Schmitt
Schmitt

This race is breaking down to how big of a democratic wave will be necessary to defeat Schmitt. Because in a republican or even year Schmitt is the best bet of anyone listed here to be serving in the executive branch this time next year.
His warchest is over $2 million dollars. When your journalists are writing articles quoting your opponents complaining about the rules of fundraising your doing something right. Look for another huge round of publicity on Schmitt’s next round of fighting taxation by citation.
Raised in Quarter: $185k
Cash on Hand: $2.1 million
Consultant: Axiom Strategies, Barklage & Knodell, Victory Enterprises

DEMOCRATS
Former State Department Official Pat Contreras

Contreras
Contreras

Contreras is turing heads with a spirited campaign that could be a benefit to the democratic ticket with new voters and in Kansas City where he has the influential Mayor’s endorsement. We understand there are some pressing him to step aside to avoid a primary, but Contreras is running such a strong campaign he may be able to convince some that it isn’t him who should step aside.
Raised in Quarter: $36k
Cash on Hand: $84k
Consultant: 3D Political

Former State Representative Judy Baker

Baker
Baker

Baker is beginning to raise money and has a background that fits well in a democratic primary working to implement Obamacare in Missouri. That is a big feather in the cap for a primary, but will be tough to defend in November. Baker is likely the front runner in the race, but if she cannot avoid a primary will likely enter the general election campaign broke against an opponent with the largest warchest outside of Koster.
Raised in Quarter: $71k
Cash on Hand: $85k

SECRETARY OF STATE

REPUBLICANS
State Senator Will Kraus

Kraus
Kraus

Kraus has the look and the resume of a great candidate, and has handled several bills that relate to the Secretary of State’s office. Many feel he has ran the best campaign of the cycle thus far. However, he is the underdog in the race, and is very likely to remain so right up to the point the paid media starts. Defeating Ashcroft is a daunting task, especially when you take tough votes for people who instead of supporting you make huge contributions to your opponent. However, Kraus has the Axiom team and the Lincoln Day season will make the race closer in one of the more unpredictable primaries on the ballot.
Raised in Quarter: $67k
Cash on Hand: $667k
Consultant: Axiom Strategies

Jay Ashcroft

Ashcroft
Ashcroft

Ashcroft has started fundraising, which was beginning to become a glaring issue. If he can reach near parity with Kraus then there is no reason he doesn’t win the primary. Victory will make sure he has an effective campaign and it looks like after a large contribution from David Humphries is closing in on cutting the cash on hand deficit to 2 to 1. He is the favorite in the race, but its not a done deal. Look for a renewed fundraising push for Ashcroft while his opponent get a media push during session.
Raised in Quarter: $108k
Cash on Hand: $174k
Consultant: Victory Enterprises

DEMOCRATS
Robin Smith

Smith
Smith

Smith is a former news anchor in St. Louis who has family connections to several Democratic politicos. Raising $100k in the early months of her campaign shows viability that may keep the primary clear. That as well as many Democrats desire to have an African American on the ballot in November.
It remains to be seen whether Smith will take to politics as she did news, but she starts with a name ID advantage in the St. Louis market, and some momentum.
Raised in Quarter: $48k
Cash on Hand: $68k

STATE AUDITOR (2018)

DEMOCRATS
State Auditor Nicole Galloway

Galloway
Galloway

She seems to only be doing a maintenance fundraising effort. It might be wise to use this time to build some cash on hand to make a top tier republican like Speaker Richardson have something to think about before challenging her next cycle.
Raised in Quarter: $17k
Cash on Hand: $19k