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PACs contribute heavily to local candidates in final weeks of general election

PACs contribute heavily to local candidates in final weeks of general election

October 17th, 2018 by Joe Gamm in Local News

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Candidates' financial reports may indicate that both parties see the seats for Missouri House of Representatives Districts 49 and 50 as winnable in the Nov. 6 general election.

The District 50 seat, currently held by Sara Walsh, R-Ashland, serves primarily rural parts of Moniteau, Cole, Cooper and Boone counties.

Walsh is running for re-election and is challenged by Michela Skelton, a Democrat from Columbia. Walsh defeated Skelton in a race for the seat by 298 votes in 2017 during a special election after seat-holder Caleb Jones, a Republican, resigned to join former Gov. Eric Greitens' staff.

Campaign finance reports were due to be turned in to the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) by 5 p.m. Monday. The reports reflect contributions to and expenditures from the campaign through Sept. 30.

Information on the reports show Walsh raised $15,925 during the third quarter $10,622 (67 percent) of which came from PACs. The Republican Party and Cole County Republican Club accounted for $2,225 in additional contributions to the campaign.

Skelton raised $10,609 during the third quarter of which $2,031 (19 percent) came from PACs. The Moniteau County Democratic Club also accounted for $800 in donations to her campaign.

Walsh spent $3,100 during the quarter and had $41,280 on hand at the end of the month.

Skelton spent $3,268 and had $38,704 on hand at the end of the month.

Walsh's largest donations came from political action committees Grow Missouri, $2,600; Missouri Realtors PAC, $2,522; Missouri Pork PAC, $2,000; University of Missouri Flagship Council PAC, $1,000; Pharmacist PAC of Missouri, $500; Missouri Medical PAC 1077, $500; National Federation of Independent Businesses Missouri PAC, $500; Missouri Consumers Lenders PAC, $500; Missouri American Water Employees PAC, $250; and Xcaliber Mo PAC, $250.

Other major contributors to Walsh's campaign were the Cole County Republican Committee, $1,500; Cole County Republican Club, $725; Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers, $350; Nancy Minnick, $275; Donna Lichtenneger, $250; Jonathon Prouty, $250; and Zachary Wallace, $250. Two people each contributed $200.

Although an individual, Rob Bartel, a Columbia software developer, ($1,000) provided the single largest contribution to Skelton's campaign during the quarter, political action committees, labor unions and the Democratic Party also chipped in, according to the MEC site.

The Moniteau County Democratic Club contributed $800; Missouri State Teachers Association legislative Impact Committee, $500; International Union of Operating Engineers, AFL-CIO, $500; Jefferson City Central Labor Union AFL-CIO, $200; Sierra Club Missouri Political Committee, $200; Missouri Women's Political Caucus PAC, $200; Missouri National Organization for Women PAC, $200; House Victory Committee, $131; and the Missouri Women's Leadership Coalition PAC, $100.

She also received $500 contributions from Robert Blake and Michael Berg, a $350 contribution from Donald Skelton, and $300 contributions from Jon Frost and Ted Koditschek.

District 49 incumbent Travis Fitzwater's fundraising far outstripped his opponent, Lisa Buhr, a Holts Summit Democrat who raised $2,449 during the third quarter.

The district they're vying for covers the southern half of Callaway County, including Fulton, Holts Summit, Kingdom City, New Bloomfield and Mokane and a small portion of Cole County.

According to financial data available on the MEC website, Fitzwater, the Republican from Holts Summit, was the only other area House candidate who had raised more than $4,200, having taken in $14,110 in the third quarter. PACs accounted for $11,400 in donations to the campaign Grow Missouri, $2,600; WPG PAC, $1,000; Missouri Medical PAC 1077, $1,000; AGC of Missouri PAC, $1,000; Missouri Dental PAC, $500; Surgery by Surgeons PAC, $500; Missouri Forest Products PAC, $500; Pharmacist PAC of Missouri, $500; Missouri Consumer Lenders PAC, $500; Missouri Truck PAC, $500; Missouri Concrete Association PAC, $300; Missouri Land Title PAC, $250; and Missouri Rental Dealers Association PAC, $250.

Other significant contributors to his campaign were Cheyenne International LLC, a North Carolina tobacco company, $1,000; the Cole County Republican Committee, $500; AT Government Strategies LLC, $500; and Callaway County Republican Central Committee, $250.

Buhr received contributions from the Callaway Democratic Club, $600; IBEW Voluntary Fund, $500; United Transportation Union PAC, $500; FredrickDoss LLC, $500 (in in-kind donations); and the UFCW Local 655 Political Fund, $100.

Several individuals and the Miller County Democratic Committee were the heaviest contributors to Linda Ellen Greeson's campaign, which took in $1,080 during the quarter. Greeson, of Eldon is the Democratic candidate for the House District 59 seat and faces Rudy Veit, R-Wardsville. Veit's campaign received $3,100 during the quarter.

The district includes a portion of eastern Jefferson City, most of Cole County and a portion of northern Miller County.

According to the MEC website, Greeson received $500 from the IBEW Voluntary Political Fund, and $100 each from the Miller County Democratic Committee and the Missouri State Teachers Association Legislative Impact Committee, and $80 from First-Missouri PAC Number One.

Veit received $500 each from the Missouri Criminal Defense Lawyers PAC, the Missouri Pork PAC and the AGC of Missouri PAC. He received $300 from the Missouri Medical PAC, and $250 each from the Missouri Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors PAC, Missouri Land Title PAC, Missouri Rental Dealers Association PAC and the CentryLink Missouri Federal Employees PAC. He received $200 from the Missouri Insurance Coalition PAC.

Dave Griffith, the Republican candidate for the District 60 seat took in $3,900 during the quarter. His opponent, Sara Michael, a Democrat, took in $4,195.

They are competing for the seat that represents most of Jefferson City, with the exception of the southeastern section.

Michael received $500 each from Byron Kinder, who is retired and has contributed a total of $1,000 to her campaign; the IBEW Voluntary Political Fund; and Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (union). She also received $275 from Anna Lingo; $250 in in-kind donations from Dawn Nicklas; and $207 in in-kind donations from Claire Laughlin.

The Missouri Women's Leadership Coalition PAC contributed $150 to her campaign, bringing their aggregate total to $350. Two individuals each contributed $200 to her campaign.

Griffith's campaign received $1,000 from Chyenne, 115 E. High St., and $500 each from the Missouri Association of Nurse Anesthetists PAC; Cole County Republican Committee; Missouri Chamber of Commerce PAC; and AGC of Missouri PAC. He also received $250 each from Missouri Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors PAC, CenturyLink Missouri Federal Employees PAC, and the National Federation of Independent Business Missouri.