By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSON – Republican gubernatorial front-runner Phil Bryant has outspent his Democratic opponent by nearly $5 million this year.
Still, Johnny DuPree, the Democratic mayor of Hattiesburg, has $383,532 in cash on hand and said Tuesday he is in solid shape as his gubernatorial push enters it final week.
“Today we reported our strongest fundraising month of the campaign,” DuPree said Tuesday in a prepared statement. “We have continued to grow our support – both financially and on the ground.”
Tuesday’s campaign finance reports, filed with the secretary of state’s office, detailed all expenditures and contributions of more than $200 for Oct. 1 through Oct. 29.
Bryant, the current lieutenant governor, raised $1.2 million for the period and spent $1.4 million. For the year, he has spent $5.6 million and has cash on hand of $760,753.
Dan Turner, a spokesman for Bryant, said, “The numbers are encouraging, but every dollar is spent or committed to be spent to remind Phil’s supporters that they still have to push this campaign all the way to the finish line by voting Tuesday.”
DuPree has spent $744,926 for the year. During October, DuPree raised $290,083 and spent $134,096.
In the race for attorney general, Democratic incumbent Jim Hood has now spent $1.2 million to $586,071 by Republican challenger Steve Simpson, the former commissioner of public safety. Hood has $383,618 in cash. During October, he raised $274,284.
Simpson has cash on hand of $198,853. He raised $373,737 during the October reporting period.
In the treasurer’s race, Republican Lynn Fitch, state Personnel Board director, raised $82,915 in October and has spent $566,524 for the year. The Democratic challenger, Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran, raised $3,752 during the month and has cash on hand of $2,074. For the year, she has spent $73,207.
In the other race where the two major parties are squaring off for an open seat, state Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, the Republican nominee for commissioner of agriculture and commerce, raised $76,588 during the reporting period and has cash on hand of $37,734. She has spent $289,170 for the year compared to Democratic nominee Joel Gill, mayor of Pickens, who has spent $43,309. Gill raised $18,250 during October and has cash on hand of $11,562.
For insurance commissioner, Democratic challenger Louis Fondren of Jackson County has spent $13,441 for the year compared to $341,230 by Republican incumbent Mike Chaney.