Missouri Republican Sarah Steelman raised $208,000 in her first month as a U.S. Senate candidate, putting a dent in Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill's cash advantage as the 2012 campaign begins.
Figures released Wednesday by Steelman show that after expenses, she had about $189,000 remaining in her campaign account from the money she raised in December. Steelman, who declared her candidacy Dec. 1, touted it as a strong start to her Senate bid, but she still has a ways to go to catch up financially with McCaskill.
Federal finance reports show McCaskill raised nearly $136,000 during the last quarter of 2010 and had about $905,000 in her campaign account as 2011 began.
Steelman, a former Missouri treasurer and state senator from Rolla, is one of several Republicans who may be competing for the right to face McCaskill, who will be seeking her second six-year Senate term.
Earlier this week, St. Louis attorney Ed Martin declared his candidacy in the Republican Senate race. Martin raised almost $1.4 million last year while narrowly losing a challenge to Democratic U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan. His post-election finance reports showed his campaign owed about $44,000. But Martin said Wednesday that he now has a positive balance of about $40,000 in his congressional campaign account, which can be rolled over to a Senate bid.
Republican U.S. Reps. Sam Graves of northwest Missouri and Jo Ann Emerson of southeast Missouri also have been considering the Senate race.
Graves raised about $1.1 million for his congressional re-election last year and reported having about $30,000 in his campaign account as 2011 began.
Emerson raised about $2 million for her congressional re-election last year and reported having $7,635 in her campaign account at the start of the new year.
Former Missouri Republican Party Chairman Ann Wagner, of St. Louis, also has been considering running for U.S. Senate next year. She does not yet have a Senate fundraising committee.