By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Congressional candidate Alan Nunnelee raised twice as much as U.S. Rep. Travis Childers in the fourth quarter of 2009, but the incumbent still has twice the cash on hand.
Supporters of each man heralded their numbers as the better bet in a closely watched race to Capitol Hill.
The two are vying for north Mississippi’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Nunnelee faces a Republican primary contest June 1 with former Eupora Mayor Henry Ross and another likely candidate, Angela McGlowan. The general election is Nov. 2.
Childers, a Democrat from Booneville, raised $109,624 from October through December. Nunnelee, a Republican state senator from Tupelo, brought in $201,483 during the same period.
The figures were released this week by the Federal Election Commission, but they tell only part of the story.
Overall, Childers has raised $822,777 since January 2009, and has $550,303 cash on hand.
Nunnelee has earned $421,937 since launching his own fundraising efforts in July. He has $292,391 cash on hand.
Both men earned less in the fourth quarter than they did the previous one, and supporters for both cite the holidays as a factor for the lower numbers. But each side feels confident in its efforts.
“The point is, looking at the report, the congressman has raised money steadily throughout the year,” said Brad Morris, a spokesman for Childers. “It’s just now gearing up. We feel very good about our fundraising.”
Also feeling good is Morgan Baldwin, a general consultant for Nunnelee. Baldwin said his candidate’s fundraising efforts prove he has strong backing from the 1st District.
“That’s attributed to the feeling in north Mississippi of wanting a change and wanting a new path for our country,” Baldwin said.
Most of Childers’ funds have come from leadership PACs, law firms, insurance companies, candidate committees and crop production businesses.
Nunnelee’s top donors come from the healthcare industry, retirees, automotive companies, oil companies, and general contractors.
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or firstname.lastname@example.org.