The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 5, 2012

Susan Redden: Candidates counting up endorsements, contributions

JOPLIN, Mo. — The advertising, mailers and robo-calls should stop, however briefly, after Tuesday’s primary election. Voters will thin out the herd of candidates who will face off against each other, and it will all start up again for the November general election.

Candidates in the waning days of the primary campaign were making final campaign stops throughout the region, touting endorsements and counting up campaign contributions.

Several candidates announced 11th-hour endorsements, including Brad Lager, a Republican candidate for Missouri lieutenant governor. He cited an endorsement by former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Lager is challenging incumbent Peter Kinder in the contest.

Earlier in the campaign, Huckabee made several appearances to announce his support of U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, who is in a three-way race for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, battling St. Louis businessman John Brunner and Sarah Steelman, former state treasurer. Five other, lesser known hopefuls are on the GOP ballot in that race.

Brunner also made stops in the area, including one in Joplin with U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. Coburn had endorsed Brunner earlier. In Joplin, he said he backs the businessman over opponents with more political experience, saying Washington needs “real people with real-world experience outside of politics.”

Coburn also cited Brunner’s business background, saying, “Our problems are financial, and we need someone with experience in financial matters.”

Akin made a series of stops around the state, including a gathering in Joplin, to meet with supporters one last time. Steelman had been in Joplin a week earlier.

MISSOURI HOUSE

Some local ballots will seem sort of sparse Tuesday, compared with the number of contenders on statewide ballots.

There are races in the Republican primary for only two Missouri House seats from the immediate Joplin area — the 163rd District post now held by Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage, and the 159th District seat occupied by Bill Lant, R-rural Joplin.

Cory Hyland, also of Carthage, has filed against Flanigan. Freddie Jennings, of Goodman, is challenging Lant.

In reports filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission, Flanigan reported campaign collections of $88,710, including local contributions during the last two reporting cycles from Judge George Flanigan, Carthage, $200; Committee to Elect Ron Richard, Joplin, $3,000; Brenda Myers, Joplin, $150; Carolyn Phelps Trust, Carthage, $350; Kelly A. Woestman Trust, Pittsburg, Kan., $250; Jim Woestman, Carthage, $500; and Rudy Farber, Neosho, $5,000.

Hyland cited contributions totaling $485, none in amounts exceeding $100. The campaign reported expenditures of the same amount, in a report to the state saying campaign fundraising had been terminated.

In the 159th District race, Lant reported contributions of $45,178, compared with $1,317 for Jennings, the challenger.

Local contributions reported by Lant came from Empire District Electric Co., Joplin, $300; Citizens for Ruestman, Joplin, $100; Bill Lee, Carthage, $100; D&D Logging, Racine, $400; Reed Financial Group, Joplin, $100; Gene Dement, Neosho, $250; Lawrence Litz, Noel, $100; Rudolph Farber, Neosho, $1,000; Scuba School and Travel, Joplin, $100; Ross and Vicki Babbitt, Pineville, $1,000; Fred Gates, Seneca, $100; Vernon DeWeese, Neosho, $100; Ron Doerge, Racine, $100; Committee to Elect Ron Richard, Joplin, $2,500; Robert Walkenhorst, Joplin, $100; Daniel Scorse, Joplin, $100; Lori Marble, Neosho, $100; Gary Pulsipher, Joplin, $100; Gene Schwartz, Neosho, $50; Don Cook, Joplin, $50; Sammy Helm, Pineville, $100; Machine Automation Co., Seneca, $500; and Junior Pratt, Anderson, $100.

Local contributors to Jennings were Ron Bates, Neosho, $50; Jessie Ruby, Goodman, $50; Tom McKay, Goodman, $120; Scottie Albious, Neosho, $80; Matt Taylor, Anderson, $30; Christopher Harper, Neosho, $100; Steven Jordan, Goodman, $160; and Leonard Bates, Seneca, $25.

Susan Redden is a staff writer for the Globe. She can be reached at sredden@joplinglobe.com or 417-623-3480, ext. 7258. Follow her on Twitter @Susan_Redden.

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