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Podhola’s late filings creates concerns about her campaign

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Jessica Podhola, a Democratic candidate for the open 11th Senatorial District seat, has been fined for late filing of her personal financial disclosure, leaving some questioning the viability of her campaign.

Podhola filed her personal financial disclosure electronically on April 15, three days after it was due, and will be fined $10 for each day it was late. If Podhola had not filed the disclosure by April 19, the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) would have begun proceedings to remove her from the ballot.

To some stakeholders, the late filing is a sign that she’s not ready to run for this office as a first-time electoral candidate.

“Forms and deadlines are a good way to judge a new candidate,” said a longtime influential lobbyist in the Capitol. “Seeing someone not be able to comply with basic ethics guidelines is something that concerns me. I would neither donate or advise my clients to donate to a candidate who cannot prove themselves as a competent candidate.”

Podhola is running against Rep. John Rizzo, D-Kansas City, in the Democratic primary for the seat. According to their quarterly reports, which were filed on time according to the MEC, Rizzo has raised $177,171 this election to Podhola’s $51,976.

Podhola is a labor organizer in Kansas City and currently serves as governmental affairs director for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. She’s also a former director of the Jackson County Democratic Party. Anthony Banks and Mary Catherine DiCarlo have also filed to run on the Democratic ticket, with former state Rep. Brent Lasater the only filed Republican.

Rizzo, a three-term representative, is the current minority whip in the House.