Advertising and voter outreach have dominated campaign expenditures during the final stretch of the Republican primary for Missouri's 10th Senate District.
As voters finalize their decisions ahead of Tuesday's Republican primary, the most recent campaign finance filings with the Missouri Ethics Commission show some candidates have spent tens of thousands on building name recognition in the final month of the campaign.
State Reps. Travis Fitzwater, R-Holts Summit, and Jeff Porter, R-Montgomery City, are running to represent the 10th Senate District, as is former state Rep. Bryan Spencer, R-Wentzville, and Wentzville Judge Mike Carter. Joshua Price, an auto shop worker from Mexico, Missouri, is also running.
Sen. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane, currently holds the office, but faces term limits and cannot run for re-election. The winner of the Republican primary will face Libertarian candidate Catherine Dreher in the Nov. 8 general election.
Carter and Price did not file campaign finance reports by the most recent July 25 deadline, but Fitzwater, Porter and Spencer did. Fitzwater and Porter spent the most within the first three weeks of July.
Spencer's campaign spent a little more than $124,200 and raised $460 from July 1-21. Fitzwater's campaign spent more $122,000 and raised more than $34,600 during the same period.
Campaign marketing and advertising have been Spencer's sole expenses in recent weeks. His campaign spent $119,693 on printing and mailers and $4,511 on media advertising within the first three weeks of July.
Spencer's campaign had $13,682 cash on hand at the end of the reporting period. Only one donation this cycle was for more than $100, which was a $150 contribution from Bernie McCann.
Fitzwater's expenses in recent weeks have been concentrated on advertising and consulting. He spent more than $110,300 on advertising and marketing, $7,000 on consulting with Axiom Strategies, a little more than $2,000 on campaign supplies and staff, and nearly $2,000 on campaign meals, fuel and lodging.
Fitzwater's campaign had almost $54,000 cash on hand at the end of the reporting period, which was July 21.
Donors who contributed $1,000 or more in the aggregate to Fitzwater's campaign this period include: Rex Sinquefield, $2,400; Lance Beshore, $2,400; Sharon Beshore, $2,400; Missouri Insurance Coalition PAC, $2,400; Missouri Realtors PAC Inc, $2,400; RightPath PAC, $2,400; Missouri Dental PAC, $2,400; MBA Capitol Region PAC, $2,000; Fred Schmidt, $2,000; Jennifer Bukowsky, $2,000; Brant Bukowsky, $2,000; Missouri Medical PAC, $1,900; MO Soybean Association State PAC, $1,650; Patrick Cox, $1,561; Missouri Corn Growers Association State PAC, $1,400; Good Government for Missouri PAC, $1,000; and Missouri American Water Employees PAC, $1,000.
Contributors to the Fitzwater campaign who gave in the aggregate of $500-$999 in this cycle were: Central to Good Government PAC, $500; Karen Fitzwater, $500; Jeannette Bernskoetter, $500; and Patrick Hurley, $500.
Donors who gave $100-$499 to Fitzwater's campaign in the aggregate in this cycle include: Fischer Grain Farms, $250; Jeremy Leach, $250; Julianna Berghaus, $250; Lisa Umfleet, $250; Douglas Rademaker, $250; Robert Robuck, $250; Brendan Dungan, $250; Henry Stratman, $200; Lee Wollgast, $200; Tiffany Bond, $104; Don Koonce, $104; and Clint Smith, $100.
Porter's campaign trailed in spending during the last cycle. Within the first three weeks of July, he spent nearly $37,750 on his run for state Senate and raised a little more than $21,000.
Porter's expenses in recent weeks have been concentrated on advertising and consulting, with more than $31,900 spent on media, direct mail and county fair advertising and $3,775 paid to Carolina's Campaign Consulting.
Porter's campaign had $26,306 cash on hand at the end of the reporting period.
Donors who contributed $1,000 or more in the aggregate to Porter's campaign this period include: Missouri NEA PAC, $2,400; Enterprise Holdings Inc PAC, $2,400; MOSFA PAC Inc, $2,400; Missouri Realtors PAC Inc, $2,346; MBA Capitol Region PAC, $2,000; Consulting Engineers Council of MO PAC, $1,900; Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Missouri PAC, $1,500; Joseph Gildehaus, $1,500; Heath Sellenriek, $1,000; Xcaliber MO PAC, $1,000; MBA Mark Twain Region PAC, $1,000; and POL PAC, $1,000.
Contributors to the Porter campaign who gave in the aggregate of $500-$999 in this cycle were: Missouri American Water Employees PAC, $750; Tri County Labor Legislative Club, $700; Richard Boschert, $500; Bryan Groeber, $500; and International Union of Elevator Constructors PAC, $500.
Donors who gave $100-$499 to Porter's campaign in the aggregate in this cycle include: Michael Spirz, $300; Dennis Benney, $250; Missouri Podiatry PAC, $250; Fair Play Missouri PAC, $250; John Fisher, $100; Robert Davis, $100; Thomas Eggering, $100; and Matthew Milner, $100.
Throughout the entire primary election season, Fitzwater has spent $157,604 on his state Senate bid and raised $161,336. Porter has spent more than $148,800 on the campaign and raised nearly $200,000. Spencer has spent more than $146,400 and raised more than $139,000.
Carter, who didn't file an updated finance report, has spent the largest amount in the race at $462,168 -- nearly all of which has gone to billboards, print media, radio, social media and other forms of advertising. His campaign has raised nearly $522,500 in total, which is largely a half-a-million dollar loan he gave to his campaign.
No campaign finance data was available for Price, the final Republican in the race.
Following Tuesday's primary results, the Republican nominee will turn his attention to the general election race against Dreher, the Libertarian candidate.
Dreher has raised more than $1,750 so far and had $500 in cash on hand by the end of June. Her most recent MEC filing indicates her finances haven't changed by more than $500 since then.