In State With Limitless Political Donations, GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Spend $10M in 3 Weeks

by | July 26, 2016

By Kevin McDermott

The four candidates seeking the Republican nomination for Missouri governor have spent a combined total of more than $10.4 million in the past three weeks, leading into Tuesday's primary, new records show.

The spending -- averaging just under a half-million dollars a day since July 1 -- has gone largely into consulting, television advertising and other media as they've battled each other in what has been a long, raucous campaign.

Missouri candidates are generally required to file their financial disclosure reports on a quarterly basis, but they also have to file a report eight days before the election.

According to the records for the four Republican gubernatorial candidates:

--Businessman John Brunner has spent $2.95 million in the past three weeks, leaving him with $75,743 on hand. Brunner, a former CEO, has provided most of his own funding for his campaign.

--Former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens has spent $4 million since July 1, leaving him with $628,238 as of Monday. Greitens is the recipient of the single largest donation in Missouri history, of $1.975 million, given earlier this month by the federal super PAC called "SEALs for Truth."

--Former Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway has spent $1.9 million this month. She is left with $696,046 on hand. Hanaway has received the bulk of her funding from St. Louis businessman and conservative activist Rex Sinquefield.

--Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder spent $1.48 million in the past three weeks, and goes into the final week with $255,638 on hand. Kinder this month received donations of $500,000 each from David Humpheys, CEO of Joplin-based TAMKO Building Products, and his sister Sarah Atkins, a consultant at the company.

The winner of the primary will likely face Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster in the Nov. 8 election. Koster has three opponents for the Democratic nomination, but none has significant name recognition or money.

Records show Koster -- who has kept a low profile as the four Republicans have battled it out on the airwaves -- spent just $485,802 in the first three weeks of July, leaving him with more than $10.8 million on hand. Much of his money has been provided by unions and lawyers.

Missouri is among the few states in America with no limits on political contributions from any source.

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