Running every two years, House members keep raising money

WASHINGTON – North Mississippi’s U.S. Rep. Travis Childers of Booneville can’t stop campaign fundraising.
Like every other House member, he must run for re-election every two years.
As 2009’s first quarter ended, he and his colleagues filed campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission.
Of Mississippi’s four House members, Democrat Childers raised the most money in the first quarter – $205,331, with the next highest fundraiser being Rep. Bennie Thompson of Bolton.
Childers reports $182,548 cash on hand after he raised and spent nearly $2 million in 2008 across five different elections to win the seat. He replaced Roger Wicker of Tupelo, who was appointed to and then won the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Trent Lott in late 2007.
Childers’ cash total compares closely to 4th District Rep. Gene Taylor, a longtime member of Congress from Bay St. Louis. Taylor reported his cash on hand at $184,171.
A former Prentiss County chancery clerk and businessman, Childers raised far more campaign money than Taylor in 2008. Taylor crushed Republican opponent John McCay in the fundraising category $521,148 to $17,686.
But dwarfing all his Mississippi colleagues is Thompson, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
He raised $2.4 million against a Republican who didn’t report raising any money. And he still has a $1.2 million war chest awaiting the 2010 elections.
Mississippi’s newest representative, Gregg Harper of Brandon, won a hotly contested Republican primary race, then defeated a lesser-financed Democrat in the general election.
He reports having $22,234 cash on hand.
Senators file campaign reports differently and the information was not immediately available electronically. They run for election every six years and not every senator runs at the same time.
In his first quarter report, Childers showed $39,250 from individuals and $166,033 from political action committees.

Big contributions
His largest individual contributors were at $2,400 each, John Bostick of Red Bay, Ala., Mike Cappaert of Vicksburg, Vick L. Etheridge of Corinth, John Keenan of Germantown, Tenn., Harriet Roberts of Memphis, Gene Rogers Jr. of Madison and William M. Yandell III of Memphis.
Eight PACS gave his campaign $2,500 and four gave $5,000. Five PACS, which gave $10,000 each, were AMERIPAC, affiliated with Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, Blue Dog PAC of conservative Democrats, National Association of Home Builders, Engineers Political Education Committee in Washington, D.C., and PAC to the Future, affiliated with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or

Patsy R. Brumfield/Daily Journal

Click video to hear audio