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Schmitt, Kunce lead 3rd quarter Senate fundraising

  

Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Marine veteran Lucas Kunce led the field of U.S. Senate candidates in fundraising totals in the third quarter. 

Kunce, who bills himself as a political outsider, brought in more contributions this quarter ($849,206) than any other candidate, Republican or Democrat. Kunce ended the period with $670,00 cash on hand. 

“Lucas Kunce has been relentless in his takedown of Washington elites who have turned their backs on Missouri,” said Connor Lounsbury, Kunce’s deputy campaign manager and spokesman. “He is showing what it means to be a politician who actually gives a damn about the state he’s running to represent. Missourians are taking note, and our campaign is building the necessary infrastructure to communicate Lucas’ straight-talk message early and often, online and on the ground.”

Schmitt brought in the most contributions of any Republican in the third quarter with nearly $652,000. He ended the quarter with nearly $1.2 million cash on hand. 

“Our America First campaign for U.S. Senate has extraordinary momentum as we continue to fight against the Democrats’ radical agenda,” Schmitt had previously said. 

Among Republicans, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler ended the period with the most cash on hand — a boon for her campaign as hard dollars can go further with things such as television ads — with more than $1.65 million. Since announcing her candidacy, Hartzler has also racked up endorsements from conservative groups and people, including former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann

For some candidates, including Hartzler, supporting PACs are still in the works. However, the Save Missouri Values PAC backing Schmitt brought in $832,000 in the third quarter, a staffer said. In total, the PAC has raised $2.36 million. The PAC reported nearly $1.53 million cash on hand in its mid-year report covering Jan. 1-June 30. 

Former Gov. Eric Greitens ended the quarter with nearly $379,000 contributions and $200,000 cash on hand. However, minus debts, his cash on hand only totals about $57,000. He has been traveling to other states to tout claims related to election and border security issues.

The Greitens-supporting TEAM PAC only reported $2.5 million cash on hand in its mid-year report (which does not cover this quarter). It hasn’t seen much major action since billionaire businessman Richard Uihlein contributed $2.5 million. 

Congressman Billy Long brought in more than $552,000 in the third quarter, ending it with nearly $540,000 cash on hand. 

Attorney Mark McCloskey ended the quarter with about $92,000 cash on hand after bringing in nearly $261,000. 

As for the Democrats, Kunce far outraised the field. Former state Sen. Scott Sifton brought in more than $220,000 this period and ended the third quarter with nearly $157,000 cash on hand. 

And then there’s Spencer Toder who didn’t have quite as competitive of a fundraising cycle in the third quarter. He ended the period with only $9,200 cash on hand after bringing in about $12,000 in the third quarter. And when you factor in his loans and debts, he’s in the negative. 

Still, Toder’s campaign stressed he’s trying a “new and innovative” approach to campaigning: using his resources to help others. The campaign said he worked with an Army veteran to raise more than $50,000 along with supplies for Afghan refugees. 

“Dollars don’t vote, people do,” Toder said. “I have spent the last six months on the ground with our community leaders, activists, and voters to hear what they need and start to bring out real solutions. I know our campaign can do more with $10 than other campaigns can do with $100. We are 100 percent on track and exactly where we want to be to win this race and become the next U.S. senator from Missouri.” 

Of note, Timothy Shepard’s campaign does not have an FEC report for the third quarter available. His July filing reported about $12,400 cash on hand. 

And Congressman Jason Smith — who has not officially entered the Republican primary but has been touring Missouri and releasing statewide ads and videos — reported more than $1.63 million cash on hand during the third quarter. He brought in more than $292,000 during this quarter. 

Smith is the Republican House Budget Committee leader who represents the 8th congressional district.