By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
Couples’ gifts boosted Rep. Alan Nunnelee’s campaign re-election war chest in 2011′s third quarter, Federal Election Commission reports show.
Of his $80,420 raised from individuals during the July-September quarter, four couples accounted for $40,000 of the total – Warren Jr. and Carolyn Hood of Hattiesburg, Colin and Kim Maloney of Tupelo, Mr. and Mrs. B.L. Walker of Jackson and Thomas and Janette Wallace of Columbia, all of whom individually gave $5,000 each.
Other leading contributors were, at $5,000 each, Beth Byrd, Betsy Creekmore, Meredith Creekmore and Leland Speed, all of Jackson, and Dr. John Fullenwider of Oxford and Sheila D. Fullenwider of Florida.
Nunnelee of Tupelo is a Republican likely facing re-election opposition in 2012 from former GOP rival Henry Ross of Eupora.
No Democrats have yet publicly indicated an interest in the post previously occupied by Democrat Travis Childers of Booneville.
Political action committees accounted for $45,500 of Nunnelee’s third-quarter total of $125,920.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia’s ERICPAC gave $10,000. Three $5,000 gifts came from the American Optometric Association, Honeywell International and ATamp&T Federal PACs.
By comparison with his three other Mississippi colleagues in the House, Nunnelee’s campaign finances are strong with big 2011-2012 numbers at $1.6 million – dwarfing Reps. Bennie Thompson of Bolton, Gregg Harper of Brandon and Steven Palazzo of Gulfport.
However, Democrat Thompson’s cash-on-hand total vastly outweighs his fellow Mississippi U.S. House members at $1.7 million compared with Nunnelee’s next-highest total at $342,766.