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Texts from the Trail: Brunner makes it clear it’s game on

this week texts from the trailJohn Brunner made a statement with his $3.6 million dollar contribution to his gubernatorial campaign. This nearly guarantees the most competitive gubernatorial primary in recent Missouri history.

Conventional wisdom would say that it would most harm the front runner Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, but there is already legitimate bad blood between Brunner and Eric Greitens. Brunner capitalizing his campaign clarifies the race a great deal, leaving all of the candidates with questions to answer during the next phase of the campaign that will take us through session until the paid media begins in earnest.

Greitens is going to raise a lot of money – some estimates are as high as $8 to $10 million and it appears the vast majority will be from out of state, but he is raising as much as anyone in state as well. His question will be: does his resume and his fundraising prowess outpace his recent conversion from the Democratic Party? Seems like right now it’s a race to see if today’s Eric Greitens can get far enough from the Eric Greitens of a few years ago.

The Hanaway campaign is determinedly organizing and seems likely to have the best organization in Kansas City between Axiom and the Cierpiots. She has had the benefit of a large donation from Rex Sinquefield, but the question seems to be: how much other support in the donor community does she have?

For the most successful statewide Republican of this millennium, Lt. Gov. Kinder, the question is simple: Can he raise the money? It seems unlikely that he is defeated in a four-way primary if he reaches $1.5 million but seems to have to have a million in July to continue being the favorite. He was at nearly $300,000 in October.

This week begins a period of five months of headlines for the candidates running for statewide office who are in the legislature. It’s certainly an advantage to be able to pick your positions to fit the mood of the electorate without a voting record and talk of “cleaning up” whatever you’re running for, but the fact of the matter is that during session, the statements and positions of those engaged in the process are news, and it can translate into an advantage.

There is an early entrant to replace Rep. Ron Hicks, who is not running for re-election to run for mayor of St. Peters. Nick Schroer, the brother-in-law of Rep. Robert Cornejo, R-St. Peters, is running and is likely to have a strong quarter coming out of the gate. On the Democrat side with Rep. Kim Gardner, who is running for circuit attorney, a promising talent on the Democratic side has entered the primary to replace her in Steve Roberts, Jr.

Dr. Matt Mallinson, the mayor of Sugar Creek, has entered the race to replace Senator Paul LeVota. Word is that he can self-fund, but is unlikely to do so. Rep. John Rizzo is the clear favorite in the race, but Mallinson’s entry probably hurts him more than his opponent Jessica Podhola, if all three ultimately end up filing.

The over $5,000 contributions since the first of the year were:

STEPHEN WEBBER Thomas Smith Columbia MO $10,000
ERIC SCHMITT Group MVT Springfield MO $10,000
ERIC GREITENS Bryan Magers Springfield MO $50,000
ERIC GREITENS Irvine Kessler Wayzata MN $25,000
ERIC GREITENS Market Street Bancshares Vernon IL $50,000
ERIC GREITENS Jeff Layman Springfield MO $5,001
ERIC GREITENS Howard Rosenbloom Timonium MD 21093 $5,001
MO SENATE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE Burns & McDonnell Kansas City MO $10,000
MO SENATE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE Dealers Interested in Government Jefferson City MO $10,000
ERIC SCHMITT Zevan & Davidson St Louis MO $15,000
CURTIS TRENT Curtis Trent Springfield MO $20,000
JOSH HAWLEY Erin Hawley Columbia MO $10,000
PETER KINDER Chester Bross Construction Hannibal MO $10,000
PETER KINDER AMS Medical Lab St Louis MO $10,000
PETER KINDER MidAmerica Hotels Cape Girardeau MO $10,000
GREITENS FOR MISSOURI Blake Spahn New York NY $10,000
ERIC GREITENS Mary Beth OReilly Nixa MO $5,001
ERIC GREITENS Michael Burns Malvern PA $5,001
ERIC GREITENS Michael L Goguen Menlo Park CA $500,000
ERIC SCHMITT Langdon & Emison Lexington MO $15,000