TOPEKA, Kan. — Facing a tough reelection race in Kansas, Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly raised more cash last year, spent more money and entered this year with more funds than her presumed Republican opponent.
Campaign finance reports filed Monday by the campaigns for Kelly and Attorney General Derek Schmidt suggest that their contest could be unusually expensive for Kansas. Their reports covered last year.
Schmidt claimed to set an off-year record for fundraising by a Republican candidate for governor, though his figure was short of the $2 million then-Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius raised in 2005 ahead of her reelection race in 2006. Kelly bested Sebelius' figure.
Kelly reported raising almost $2.05 million. That's almost $412,000 or 25% more than the $1.64 million Schmidt raised after launching his campaign in early March.
But Kelly also spent more twice as much on her campaign last year as Schmidt did, more than $762,000 compared to Schmidt's roughly $331,000.
Kelly started the year with nearly $655,000 in campaign funds to Schmidt's zero, and that advantage allowed her to enter this year with 49% more cash on hand, $1.94 million compared to Schmidt's $1.31 million.