Wagner sets high mark in fundraising, pre-empting possible Senate run


WASHINGTON – Missouri Congresswoman Ann Wagner had her largest fundraising quarter in history during the first quarter of 2017, raking in just over $800,000 in the first three months of the year.

That figure almost doubles the single largest quarter she previously had in terms of fundraising when she received just over $500,000 from July 1, 2012 to Sept. 31, 2012, right before she won election to Congress.

The largest haul for the state’s 2nd Congressional District, along with a few other factors, could indicate she will officially announce her candidacy to run for Senate against incumbent U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Her first quarter filing with the Federal Election Commission showed she raised $804,264 from Jan. 1 to March 31, which gives her a relatively large coffer of $2,767,789 cash on hand, far more at this stage than McCaskill’s last challenger, former Congressman Todd Akin, had at this point in the electoral cycle.

McCaskill defeated Akin by 15 points in 2012 after he made controversial and deeply unpopular comments about “legitimate rape.” She has not yet submitted her quarterly report, due April 15th, but she ended 2016 with $781,519 cash on hand.

Currently, Wagner’s campaign still indicates she is seeking to retain her office in the 2nd Congressional District, but that classification can be changed.

Wagner also stepped down as finance director, a time-consuming leadership role, of the National Republican Congressional Committee last week, which also signals a big run.

So far however, she and her office have remained mum on whether or not she is officially running for McCaskill’s seat.

Wagner may have some added competition however. A group of prominent Republicans, including former Sen. Jack Danforth and former Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, urged Attorney General Josh Hawley to run for the office in a letter. House Speaker Todd Richardson’s name has also been floated as a contender for the race.