The Clarion-Ledger, 11/11/7

Candidates running for Mississippi’s eight statewide offices spent more than $25.2 million this election year, according to campaign finance reports.

Though the figure rivals the combined $23.4 million racked up in 2003, it’s light-years away from what was spent more than a decade ago.

From endless television commercials to push cards in mailboxes, some say reaching out to voters through an array of media is part of what has driven up the cost of campaigns.

The year, well-connected candidates such as Gov. Haley Barbour, heated races and hot-button issues all combined to inflate war chests. Barbour’s campaign spending was almost half of this year’s total.