Missouri Senate spending pace picks up as total nears $43m – Missouri Independent

The first two weeks of July saw a flurry of spending in the Missouri Senate race, with new political action committees joining the fray and the two top-spending Democrats expanding the markets they tap into for votes.

Pre-primary reports to the Federal Election Commission, covering the period from July 1 to July 13, were due Thursday. These reports, along with daily independent expense reports, show that the total cost of the race is now nearly $43 million.

The latest set of reports, which covered the period up to June 30, showed expenses were just under $30 million the month has begun.

Television advertising continues to consume the largest share of spending. The Independent’s ad sales tracker shows spending on full power plants was $16.4 million on Friday, up about $1.7 million from last weekend.

One of the biggest non-televised campaigns is led by Americans for Prosperity Action, which pumped $1.6 million into a ballot campaign on behalf of Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who is seeking a GOP nomination.

The biggest spender in the race continue to be Show Me Values ​​PACwho used more than half of the $7.4 million spent on TV ads to attack another GOP Senate candidate, former Gov. Eric Greitens.

There are two PACs that have made ad buys promoting Greitens — Team PAC and Missouri First Action — spending about $2.2 million in total, but neither has large sums remaining to match the opposition campaign.

Of the candidates — 21 from the Republican side and 11 from the Democratic primary — only three Republicans and two Democrats are buying TV ads.

Schmitt, who just buys time in St. Louis, is the only candidate to have reduced some of his purchases. Schmitt canceled $77,925 in ads and reduced other buys by $78,405, reducing his total buy for the St. Louis market to $386,000.

An independent PAC, Save Missouri Values, won time to support Schmitt statewide, spending $2.9 million in television time and $5.1 million in total.

Save Missouri Values, which like other PACs can accept unlimited donations, took in $443,000 in the first two weeks of the month and had nearly $2 million on hand as of July 13.

Schmitt’s campaign, which must meet the $2,900 per person contribution limit like other candidate campaigns, raised $81,804 in the first two weeks of the month and spent $538,000. Schmitt’s campaign treasury had just over $1 million available for the final push to the Aug. 2 primary.

U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler and State Senate Chairman Pro Tem Dave Schatz are the other two GOP candidates buying airtime. Hartzler has made a few recent purchases, bringing his total TV spend to $1.4 million, while Schatz, who poured $2 million of his own money into his campaign, hasn’t made a new ad buy since. June.

Hartzler raised $83,415 in the first two weeks of the month, spent $443,000 and had $1.5 million in the bank. Schatz only raised $405 during the reporting period, spent just over $10,000 and had $1.3 million on hand.

There have been no public polls on the Republican race since late June, when Trafalgar Group showed Hartzler, Schmitt and Greitens in a statistical stalemate.

On the Democratic side, Anheuser-Busch beer heiress Trudy Busch Valentine outstrips rival Lucas Kunce nearly 5-1 on TV ads. Fueled by $3 million of his personal fortuneValentine spent $1.9 million on TV commercials.

Kunce, which has raised $4.7 million, most of all candidate committees and mostly in small donations, has increased its ad spend to nearly $400,000, but also spends significant amounts on digital advertising and other media. .

Valentine, who made her first ad buys in St. Louis and Kansas City, added the Springfield and Columbia markets, often buying ads at a station a day after Kunce.

The only PAC buying ads in the Democratic race is the Missouri Voices Action Fund, which was established last fall. He spent $75,000 in the St. Louis market targeting Valentine.

In the three hotly contested congressional primaries, spending has also increased in recent weeks, and PAC spending is also rising.

In the 1st District, where incumbent US Representative Cori Bush is challenged by State Senator Steve Roberts in the Democratic primary, spending for both campaigns topped $2.2 million, with the bulk coming from Bush.

But Roberts exceeds it in television, with $144,000 in advertising purchases against $116,000 for Bush.

In the 4th arrondissement, where seven Republicans are vying for the nomination to replace Hartzler, PACs come in with big spending as the main approaches.

Mark Alford, a former Kansas City news anchor, benefited from $271,000 in Kansas City Market ads purchased by a PAC called Federal Action of the American Dreamwhich focuses on economic and national security issues.

Alford’s campaign also has the largest TV ad buy in the district.

The School Freedom Fund, a conservative group opposed to critical race theory and COVID-19 restrictions in schools, is attacking Alford and promoting State Senator Rick Brattin with a $1.1 million ad buy. dollars in the Kansas City market.

In southwestern Missouri’s 7th District, former state senator Jay Wasson is the biggest spender, with just over $1 million, and he has the biggest ad buy, nearly $350,000. $. But Wasson is also the target of one of the biggest PAC ad campaigns in the district, a $659,000 Club For Growth Action that attempts to brand him as “a Romney Republican wrong for Congress.”

The only other Republican with a six-figure TV buy in the 7th District is State Senator Eric Burlison, whose campaign spent $192,000 on ads. Burlison, along with State Senator Mike Moon, are the targets of a PAC called Conservative Americans, which has spent $470,000 attacking them in state budget votes and said they ” sided with the liberals of the police”.

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