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Nixon, Zweifel Report Raising Little Campaign Money — Unlike Kander, Jones

In the midst of his second term, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has continued to travel the state to promote his agenda for the state. He has heightened his profile even more in recent days, as he has blasted a tax-cut proposal that the General Assembly has landed on his desk.

Jay Nixon
Credit File photo
Jay Nixon

But Nixon has effectively dropped one activity that used to take up a lot of his time: campaign fundraising.

Since Jan. 1, the governor has collected only two campaign donations and raised only $2,040 in cash, according to his campaign-finance report filed this week. His largest donation was an an in-kind contribution worth $13,000 from Clayco, a St. Louis-based firm.

The latest low totals are particularly striking, considering the millions of dollars that Nixon raised annually from 2008 through 2012 to finance two expensive campaigns.

The governor’s current lack of fundraising also raises questions about what he plans to do after 2016, when he leaves office.

Because Missouri lacks campaign donation limits, any money raised under the state’s contribution laws cannot be used for federal campaigns for Congress or president, which are governed by stricter campaign-finance laws.

Nixon has declined to discuss his post-2016 plans, saying most recently that his primary concern at present was to govern, not campaign.

And he’s not broke. Nixon still has $384,526 in the bank.

Kander One Of Few Statewide Officials Raising Money

Nixon isn’t Missouri’s only statewide official to raise little money.

Clint Zweifel and Peter Kinder
Credit File photos
Clint Zweifel and Peter Kinder

State Treasurer Clint Zweifel, who like the governor is term-limited and can’t seek re-election, has collected only $1,005 so far this year.

Zweifel has yet to say whether he’ll seek another office in 2016. He now has $251,329 in the bank.

Some have speculated that Zweifel, a Democrat, may run for lieutenant governor in 2016.  

That talk may heighten since Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican serving a third term, has raised only $30,610 so far this year. Kinder reported $74,082 in the bank, with a remaining debt of $1,555 from his 2012 campaign.

Jason Kander
Credit Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio
Jason Kander

The statewide official breaking the low-tally mold is Secretary of State Jason Kander, a Democrat expected to seek re-election in 2016. He collected $203,591 so far this year and has $392, 565 in the bank.

As reported earlier,the statewide officials with the busiest fund-raising operations are Attorney General Chris Koster, a Democrat running for governor in 2016, and state Auditor Tom Schweich, a Republican running for re-election this fall and also expected to run for governor in 2016.

Jones adds to fat bank account as Dempsey generates talk

Meanwhile, Missouri’s two top leaders in the General Assembly, both Republicans, reported middling  fund-raising numbers.

House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, reported raising $110,955 so far this year. He now has $962,126 in the bank for an expectedrun for some statewide office in 2016.  Among the state's top money-raisers, only Koster has more in the bank.

Tim Jones
Credit File photo
Tim Jones

Jones’ report was notable because he received a number of donations from the health-care industry, mostly in the range of $2,500 to $5,000 apiece. Jones has been an outspoken opponent of expanding the state’s Medicaid program, as sought by the state’s hospitals.

Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, reported collecting $62,750 since Jan. 1, with a bank account now totaling $196,214. 

Tom Dempsey
Credit Mo. Senate
Tom Dempsey

Arguably the biggest news about the Senate leader's report is that his campaign committee is now listed as collecting money for a 2016 bid for statewide office.  Dempsey has not publicly stated what office he may be considering.

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Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.
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