Democrat Paul Davis has outraised Gov. Sam Brownback since January, but the governor heads into August with more money in the bank.
The Davis campaign raised $1.1 million between January 1 and July 24, according to campaign finance documents filed with the Governmental Ethics Commission on Monday.
Gov. Sam Brownback’s re-election campaign received about $744,000 in contributions during the same period, putting him behind Davis in fundraising by more than $370,000.
But Brownback will head into August with $2.4 million cash on hand, compared with about $1.3 million for Davis. The Brownback total includes a $500,000 loan from Lt. Jeff Colyer.
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Brownback also began the race with $519,000 left over from the previous campaign cycle before Davis began raising money.
It is the second time Colyer has loaned the campaign money. He loaned $500,000 on New Year’s Eve and was repaid on Jan. 2.
On July 23, a day before the reporting period ended, Colyer again loaned the campaign $500,000.
Brownback campaign spokesman John Milburn called the loan a sign of Colyer’s commitment to the campaign, “to make sure that we have the necessary resources. ... That’s really the nuts and bolts of it.”
But a spokesman for the Democratic party said the loans were intended to inflate Brownback’s fundraising totals at a time when Davis’ campaign has more momentum.
Dakota Loomis, communications director for the Kansas Democratic Party, said that Colyer told the Lawrence Journal-World on Jan. 13 that his original loan represented a commitment to making a better future for Kansas kids, several days after the money had already been repaid to him.
“I think we see a pattern of Sam Brownback trying to trick voters and trying to deceive them and make his campaign look stronger. In reality, Paul Davis’ campaign is outraising him,” Loomis said.
Colyer, in a news release that went out before Brownback’s campaign finance report had been posted on the Ethics Commission’s website, said Kansas is on the right track. “We are creating jobs, lowering the tax burden and investing in a world-class education system. The support we have received will enable us to continue telling that message to Kansas voters, who when given the choice will decide that we must stay the course.”
The Davis campaign has raised $2.1 million since 2013. It spent about $566,000 since January.
The campaign said Davis and his running mate, Wichita businesswoman Jill Docking, got more than 7,200 contributions, with 92 percent from Kansans and 75 percent of $100 or less.
“Kansans are deeply concerned about Sam Brownback’s ‘real live experiment’ and the toll it is taking on our state,” Davis said in a statement. “Kansans are worried about their local schools and the future we are leaving our children. Our donors are a clear reflection of the broad, bipartisan support Jill and I have earned during the past year.”
Davis has significant backing from the legal and education communities: 253 of Davis’ donors listed attorney or lawyer as their profession. Another 113 listed either teacher or educator, and 79 listed professor.
By comparison, Brownback has 32 donations from attorneys and five from educators. The governor had contributions from 80 medical professionals, not including Colyer, who is a plastic surgeon.
Among Davis’ bigger Wichita donors is Slape & Howard, a Wichita law firm that gave $2,000. Thomas Kitch, an attorney, and his wife, Sally Kitch, gave the same amount. Richard Egelhof, a Wichita physician, also gave $2,000, the maximum allowed under Kansas law.
Brownback got maximum donations from Santo Catanese, a Wichita real estate developer; Greg Boxberger, a Wichita physician; and Wichita-based KMG Tool Machine Co.
Brownback also received support from U.S. Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif. Campbell gave Brownback $2,000. His campaign Campbell for Congress also sent the governor $2,000.
The governor’s wife, Mary Brownback, gave her husband’s re-election campaign a check for $2,000 on July 23.