TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democrats running for two Kansas congressional seats that their party hopes to flip raised far more campaign cash than their Republican opponents did from mid-July through September, according to campaign finance reports available online Tuesday.
The most eye-popping number was posted by Democrat Sharice Davids in the Kansas City-area 3rd District. Her campaign reported that it raised nearly $2.8 million during the period, making her more competitive in fundraising than any other Democrat faced previously by Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder during four terms in the House.
Davids has received national attention for her unusual political profile as an LGBT and Native American attorney who has fought mixed martial arts bouts. While the district is Republican-leaning, President Donald Trump narrowly lost it in 2016, and he endorsed Yoder in July.
Yoder raised a little more than $1 million during the period for what has become the toughest race of his career. But he began the period with far more money than Davids — nearly $1.8 million to less than $128,000.
He has raised more than $3.8 million for his re-election so far and spent $1.5 million on his campaign during the last period, ending September with nearly $1.3 million.
That gave Yoder an advantage in cash on hand, because Davids had a little more than $1 million left after spending nearly $1.9 million during the period. Her total fundraising has exceeded $3.1 million.
Both Davids and Paul Davis, the Democratic nominee in the neighboring 2nd District of eastern Kansas, received more than $300,000 on Sept. 28 from the House Victory Project, a Washington-based Democratic group.
Davis, a former Kansas House leader, and Republican Steve Watkins, an Army veteran and political newcomer, are seeking the seat held by retiring GOP Rep. Lynn Jenkins.
Davis reported raising about $1.36 million from mid-July through September, including the House Victory Project contribution, bringing his total cash contributions to nearly $3 million. He spent $1.04 million and ended September with $1.26 million.
Watkins ended the period with about $151,000 after raising $282,000. He spent about $256,000 from mid-July through September, and he’s raised a total of $923,000 for his campaign, though more than half of that, or $475,100 came from a personal loan to his campaign.
But Watkins’ father, a Topeka physician, also is involved heavily in the race as the almost-exclusive source of funding for a political action committee, Kansans Can Do Anything, boosting his son’s candidacy. The elder Watkins has contributed more than $765,000 to the PAC, including more than $178,000 from mid-July through September.
Also, Trump had a rally in Topeka to help boost Watkins’ campaign earlier this month, and Vice President Mike Pence was scheduled to have a fundraiser for him Friday.
Follow John Hanna on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apjdhanna .
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