Congressional candidates Travis Childers and Alan Nunnelee report neck-and-neck campaign fundraising with 10 days to go before the vote.
So far, the campaign for North Mississippi’s next member of the U.S. House is pushing a $5 million price tag.
While Childers may still have raised more money, cash on hand is what they need to finish the race. The latest Federal Election Commission numbers show it’s a close call.
Childers, the incumbent Democrat from Booneville, and Nunnelee, the Republican challenger from Tupelo, filed mandatory third-quarter reports Oct. 15, which reflected campaign finances from July 1 through September.
Third-quarter reports showed Childers with $1.627 million raised and $494,848 on hand. Nunnelee reported $1.401 million raised and $322,988 cash.
But now, their campaigns have filed a pre-election report, showing finances as of Oct. 13. And they also must report new campaign donations every 48 hours.
In the past two weeks, Nunnelee’s campaign reports gaining another $97,667 compared to $40,000 for Childers.
Last week, independent groups – such as political party committees and issues organizations – spent another $327,903 against Childers and $227,516 against Nunnelee. Total opposition money to date is $915,560 to help Childers and $732,562 to help Nunnelee.
Among their most prominent donors, Nunnelee boasts $5,000 from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and Childers received $4,600 from famed novelist John Grisham and his wife.
Nunnelee’s other largest contributions – $5,000 each – came from the Associated Builders and Contractors PAC in Virginia, Butler Snow PAC of Jackson and Council of Insurance Agents amp& Brokers PAC of Washington, D.C.
His largest individual donors in the past week were, at the $2,400 maximum level, Douglas Ferris of Memphis, Susan Griffith of Virginia, Hall Thompson of Shoal Creek, Ala., Don Trott of Nettleton, Dawn Correti of Columbus, Betty Gillis of Columbus, Gary Phillips of Baton Rouge, La., Brian Cain of Gulfport and Chris Cain of Gulfport.
Childers’ other largest contributors at $5,000 were Carpenters Legislation Improvement Committee of Washington, D.C., and General Atomics PAC of California.
His largest individual donors last week were Luke Montgomery of Fulton, $2,000 and Anthony Farese of Ashland, $1,400. Giving $1,000 each were Roger Bell of Caledonia, Bill Morgan of Booneville, Nell Pharr of Marietta, William Winter of Jackson, Gerald Clark of Kentucky, and John Sutherland of Tupelo.
The FEC also shows campaign finance reports from other 1st District candidates Les Green, with $39,536 raised and $2,275 cash, and Gail Giaramita with $11,330 raised and $755 cash as of Sept. 30.
No reports were filed by the other independent or third-party candidates – A.G. Baddley, Rico Hoskins, Wally Pang, Harold Taylor and Barbara Washer.
PATSY BRUMFIELD / NEMS Daily Journal