The finance reports just released by campaigns really offer the last big picture look on campaigns before the statewide primaries. We’ve been keeping our eyes on a few races since the beginning of the cycle. Here’s the latest.
Incumbent Lynn Fitch raised $44,000 this period and shows $116K COH. Challenger David McRae showed $216K for the period (with $200K coming from McRae and his wife) and shows $378K COH for the stretch run. McRae is in full gear on TV across the state and the money disparity is noteworthy.
State Auditor Stacey Pickering is showing $187K COH His opponent, Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler, has been largely self funded to this point in the campaign and shows $30K COH. There does not seem to be much of a sign of life in this primary. You can certain see the difference between her TV ads and Pickering’s.
Incumbent Mike Chaney raised nearly $50K this period and shows $347K COH. That’s a pretty impressive haul for a downticket race. His opponent, quasi-Republican John Mosley raised just under $10K for the period and has about $10K COH for the stretch run. The polling I’ve seen recently suggests Mosley should probably not waste more money and hang it up while he’s behind.
Other races of Note
No real big surprises in terms of campaign finance elsewhere. Governor Phil Bryant, LG Tate Reeves and SOS Delbert Hosemann continue to roll and all have impressive campaign finance bankrolls. The only things to watch on their reports will be whether money gets expended in the primaries or the general to help other candidates.
One item of note in the LG’s race – the Tea Party/McGOP appears to have left Tate Reeves challenger, Alisha McElhenney, for dead. She’s only raised about $8K total and has about $4K COH. That’s pretty sad. For all of the online bluster about the revolution that was about to take place, it now seems pretty apparent that it was mostly gum-flapping. That appears to be a pretty cautionary tale for those who get sucked in with grand promises of support from the new-fangled Tea Party apparatus.
The main legislative race we’ve been keeping up with, in terms of campaign finance, is the race between incumbent Will Longwitz and Bill Billingsley in the metro Jackson area. This period, Longwitz raised $35K and has $144K COH. Billingsley is showing $19K COH.
Another race that I’ve been curious about is the race SD 37 currently occupied by Melanie Sojourner. After the Chris McDaniel campaign debacle, there have been a lot of sore feelings in her district. The Natchez paper has had multiple editorials against her both on her poor voting record and lack of responsiveness on her duties of actually being a state senator. Not surprisingly, she has a few challengers lined up on both the Democratic and Republican side. Meadville Mayor Lane Reed is a Republican that hails from the east-central part of that district. He raised $15K this period and is showing almost $22K COH. There is another Natchez Republican running against Sojourner that could split the vote in Natchez. Curtis Moroney shows about $4K COH. With very competitive Republican primaries in the eastern parts of the district and a very competitive Democratic primary in Adams County, this race is a toss-up.
Meanwhile, money seems to have generally backed away from Sojourner as she’s only been able to muster $2,555 this period and is showing less than $10K COH. There seems to be great uncertainty in her district about her future.