Incumbents hold lead in funds

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal



TUPELO – Congressional candidates in the two races affecting Northeast Mississippi have raised a collective $500,660 from April through June, according to reports filed this month with the Federal Election Committee.
As usual, incumbents collected the largest sums.
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., earned nearly two-thirds of the total amount this period with $317,791. Fifty-five percent came from political action committees; the rest from individual donors.
He also received a transfer of $61,253.61.
During the same three months, Wicker’s campaign spent $93,674 on travel, fundraising, advertising, staff salary, office rent and other supplies and services.
His campaign returned $9,100 in contributions this period.
Wicker has more than $2.3 million cash on hand.
A campaign finance report wasn’t available on the FEC website for Wicker’s challenger, Democrat Al Gore Jr., who is a U.S. Army veteran and retired Methodist minister.
Also unavailable were reports for the three minor-party candidates running in the 1st Congressional District U.S. House race: Danny Bedwell of the Libertarian Party; Jimmie Ray Bourland of the Constitution Party; and Chris Potts of the Reform Party.
Incumbent U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee, R-Miss., earned the lion’s share of contributions made in the House race with $168,649 from April through June. Nearly two-thirds came from individual donors; the rests from political action committees.
He also received a transfer of $2,696.
That’s versus $14,220 raised by Democratic challenger Brad Morris, an Oxford attorney and former chief of staff to the man Nunnelee beat, then-U.S. Rep. Travis Childers, D-Miss.
All but $1,000 of Morris’ contributions came from individual donors. The candidate also loaned himself $26,709. His campaign spent $53,995 during the three-month period, mostly on consulting and research.
He has $10,748 cash on hand.
Nunnelee spent $157,553 during that same time. His top campaign expenses included salary, travel, fundraising and consulting. He also made a $50,000 donation was made to the National Republican Congressional Committee.
The candidates have three more months to raise and spend money on their campaigns. Voters head to the polls Nov. 6 for the general election.
emily.lecoz@journalinc.com