Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Incumbents in Congress Grab Huge Cash Advantage around St. Louis

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Incumbents in Congress Grab Huge Cash Advantage around St. Louis

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON * The baked-in incumbent campaign cash advantage for most members of the U.S. House of Representatives is nowhere more evident than in St. Louis area's congressional elections this year.

Incumbents have far outraised opponents, with the money race between incumbent Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, and his Democratic challenger, C.J. Baricevic of Belleville, in Metro East's Illinois 13th, the closest contest. In some instances, candidates with little or no opposition appear to be raising money with future elections in mind.

Here is a synopsis, based on the latest Federal Election Commission filings on fundraising and spending through Sept. 30:

* In that Bost-Baricevic race, the freshman Republican Bost has raised more than $2.1 million for his re-election campaign, and had about $758,000 in his campaign bank on Oct. 1.

Baricevic raised about $872,000 and had about $102,000 on hand to start the final five weeks of the campaign. However, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced last month that it would spend independently to help Baricevic. That contest is a barometer on whether Democrats will be able to make substantial gains, or even take control of the House, on Nov. 8.

* In Missouri's 1st District, Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, heavily tapped political action committees to build a huge financial advantage over any challengers, including state Sen. Marie Chappelle-Nadal, whom he defeated in an August primary.

Clay raised almost $577,000, with roughly 89 cents of every dollar coming from PACs. He tapped a wide universe of labor, corporate and liberal ideology PACs, and many of the top local corporation PACs or those of companies with a large St. Louis footprint contributed to his campaign. Those donors included political action committees of Anheuser-Busch, Boeing, Centene, Express Scripts, Enterprise. Edward Jones and Monsanto, as well as those of most major unions with members in the region.

By contrast, Chappelle-Nadal raised just under $78,000, about 90 cents of every dollar from individuals, mostly in small donations. Democrat Bill Haas raised just north of $12,000. …

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