State Rep. Mike Bernskoetter's bid to become the next Mid-Missouri state senator is leading other candidates in the fundraising department.
The Jefferson City Republican had $151,076.67 cash on-hand at the end of 2017, according to his campaign finance report filed this week with the Missouri Ethics Commission.
House candidates Dave Griffith and Travis Fitzwater also had sizable campaign accounts at the beginning of this year.
The official filing for elected legislative, statewide and congressional offices begins Feb. 27 and ends March 27.
6th District state Senate
Bernskoetter, who can't run for re-election to the House because of term limits, has announced his campaign to succeed state Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, who also is term-limited.
So far, Bernskoetter is the only announced Republican candidate for the race.
His report showed 129 separate contributions for a total of $28,400, with five donations of $1,000 or more.
Those contributors included the Empire District Electric PAC (political action committee), Grow Missouri, the Missouri C PAC of Farmington, the MO-SFA PAC, Ford Motor Co. PAC and the Ash Grove Cement PAC.
Bernskoetter listed $19,657.31 in expenses, including $10,000 for the Palm Strategic Group's services and $4,428 to Capital Consulting.
His advertising expenses included $80 paid to the News Tribune and $244 to the Gasconade County Republican in Owensville.
Two Democrats also seek to succeed Kehoe in the seven-county district that includes Cole, Moniteau, Morgan, Miller, Osage and Gasconade counties — although neither has issued a formal campaign statement.
Nicole Thompson, of Jefferson City, reported receiving $800 and spending $175.08 for printed materials, a post office box and website hosting.
Accountant Bryan Struebig, of Eldon, filed his committee's organization papers at the end of December and reported receiving $440 in contributions, with no reported expenses and $390 cash on-hand.
State Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, had started a campaign for state Senate, then announced in October he had decided to spend more time with his young family.
However, Barnes has not yet terminated his campaign committee — so he was required to file a campaign finance report this week. It showed he raised no money in the last three months of 2017, and spent $9,469.97 — with $8,800 of that paying a bill to the Virginia-based Public Opinion Strategies firm.
Barnes still has $24,489.85 on hand that must be disbursed before he can close the committee.
60th District state House
Barnes is term-limited and couldn't have run again for the district that covers most of Jefferson City, except for the eastern part, which is in Bernskoetter's House district.
At least four people — a Democrat and three Republicans — want to replace Barnes.
Democrat Kevin Nelson lost to Barnes two years ago.
He reported raising $1,000 — by lending the money to his own campaign — and having no expenses during the last quarter of 2017.
Griffith reported having $21,417.50 on-hand at the end of the year, after raising $24,450 from 49 separate contributions and spending $3,052 on advertising and accounting expenses.
Griffith received nine donations more than $1,000 — from John Kehoe, Clyde Lear, Richard Kampeter, Mike Kampeter, Walter Malmstrom, Mark Schell, John Sheehan, Tony Feather and Deb Brown Properties.
He also received another 13 donations of more than $500, including from the Missouri Insurance Coalition PAC, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce PAC, Caesar's Entertainment Corp. and the Jefferson Bank PAC.
The Jefferson Bank PAC donated $500 to each of the GOP candidates.
Kerr reported having $10,028.24 on hand, after raising $6,560 and spending $1,880.01 in the last three months of 2017.
Her expenses included name tags, T-shirts, parade candy and a banner.
She received 29 separate donations, including an $1,800 contribution from St. Louis attorney Jerome Dobson.
Beetem raised $8,846.24 from 17 separate contributions, including two of more than $1,000 — from the Building Concensus PAC and from Ed Storey.
She spent $1,825.08 on banking and event costs, T-shirts, stamps, and $183 in advertising with the News Tribune.
She reported having $6,524.92 on hand.
50th District state House
The other Mid-Missouri House seat that already has a race is the district that runs from California to southern Columbia, including northern Moniteau, southern Boone, a portion of Cooper and northwestern Cole counties.
Sara Walsh, R-Ashland, won the seat in a special election last August by a 266-vote margin.
Democrat Michela Skelton, who lost that special election, is running for a rematch.
Walsh reported raising $10,610 through 25 separate contributions, including two of $1,000 or more — from the Young Guns Missouri PAC ($1,500) and from Columbia attorney Jennifer Bukowsky ($2,600).
Six contributions of $500 or more included donations from the Missouri Insurance and Missouri Insurance Coalition PACs, Ford Motor Co. Civic Action Fund, the Pfizer PAC, A Better Missouri PAC and the Missouri Bankers' MBA Capitol Region PAC.
She reported spending $158.33 for postage, a sign and internet expenses.
After paying off $11,880.85 in debts from the special election, Walsh still had $1,000 in outstanding debt, and $2,033.01 on hand at the end of 2017.
Skelton reported raising $3,957.01, with 79 mostly small contributions and one donation from Marjorie Sable of Columbia for $500.
Her $819.04 in expenses included fundraising software an online payment processing fee.
Skelton had $12,401.47 on hand.
59th District state House
Jefferson City lawyer Rudy Veit, a Republican, is the only announced candidate to succeed Bernskoetter in the district that includes most of Cole County outside Jefferson City.
He reported raising $1,287.42 in the last three months of 2017, spending $2,042.14 and having $8,245.06 on hand.
49th District state House
Incumbent Travis Fitzwater, R-Holts Summit, is seeking a third two-year term and so far is the only announced candidate for the district that includes much of Callaway County and a small portion of Cole County just northwest of Jefferson City.
He raised $14,106.04 from 22 separate contributions, spent $2,692.76, and had $31,935.42 on hand at the end of 2017.