Bryant flexes fundraising muscle

By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal Jackson Bureau

JACKSON – Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, the favorite to win the Nov. 8 gubernatorial election, raised $1.7 million and spent $1.9 million in the last quarter to outdistance his Democratic opponent, Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree.
According to reports filed Monday with the Secretary of State’s office, during the same time period – July 1 to Sept. 30 – DuPree raised $268,229, his best showing since jumping into the governor’s race.
DuPree spent $111,212, which included funds to win a tough Democratic primary runoff in late August. More important, for the stretch run, DuPree has $234,703 cash on hand, compared to $928,670 for Bryant.
Bryant had numerous large donations – primarily from business interests both in and out of the state. But his largest contribution – $250,000 – came from the Republican Governors Association. The Democratic Governors Association contributed $42,000 to DuPree.
For the year, Bryant has raised $3.1 million and has spent $4.2 million. DuPree has raised $876,840 for the year and has spent $610,830.
Attorney General Jim Hood, the only statewide Democrat, raised $542,825, including $400,00 from the Democratic Attorneys General Association, during the time period and spent $289,210. He has cash on hand of $848,315 to take on Republican Steve Simpson, the former commissioner of Public Safety, who raised $114,667 and spent $92,008 with cash on hand of $212,438.
In the race for treasurer, Republican Lynn Fitch, executive director of the state Personnel Board, raised $421,360, including $252,000 from her father, William Fitch of Holly Springs. She spent $123,421 and has cash on hand of $154,389.
Her Democratic opponent, Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran raised $15,751 during the time period and spent $16,282. She has cash on hand of $2,300.
In the race for commissioner of agriculture and commerce, Democrat Joel Gill, the mayor of Pickens, has cash on hand of $17,168, substantially less than the $53,879 of his Republican opponent, state Sen. Cindy Hyde Smith of Brookhaven.
Democratic Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley of the Northern District raised $37,190 during the time period and spent $40,677. He has cash on hand of $2,187. His Republican opponent, Boyce Adams, has $6,957 on hand and raised $24,373. He spent $37,296 during the time period.
Incumbent Northern District Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert, a Republican, has $64,314 in cash. He raised $54,204 during the time period and spent $20,561. His Democratic opponent, Ray Minor raised $100 and spent $450, He has cash on hand of $445.
bobby.harrison@journalinc.com