Wagner Haul Raises Eyebrows
Wagner campaign responds to speculation from Politico that she may switch races.
Ann Wagner wowed political observers with her latest fundraising quarter. So much so, in fact, that at least one politico speculated that she might be eyeing another contest.
Wagner, a Ballwin Republican who previously served as Missouri Republican Party chairwoman and ambassador to Luxemburg, raised $532,093.07 in the 3rd quarter for her 2nd Congressional District bid. That was far more than what the other GOP contender for the seat, Republican attorney Ed Martin, brought in during the fundraising quarter.
“I am honored to have earned the trust and support of so many citizens across the 2nd District,” said Wagner in a statement. “I am energized by the strength and momentum of our campaign. And I intend to answer the call of the people to bring strong, effective, conservative leadership to Washington."
In recent weeks, Wagner received a number of high-profile endorsements for her congressional bid. She held an event with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and received the backing of former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri.
But Wagner’s fundraising quarter also exceeded the totals of two GOP U.S. Senate candidates: U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Wildwood, and former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman. She also outraised Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, who is considering a run for governor.
That led Politico reporter Dave Catanese to wonder aloud whether Wagner was thinking about getting into the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Wagner had actually toyed with the idea earlier this year before deciding to run for the House seat Akin is vacating.
Catanese went on to say that such a move would be “a tremendous slight against Akin.”
“This eye-raising performance is almost certain to stoke speculation on whether Wagner should reconsider switching to the bigger price: the Senate race,” Catanese wrote. “She briefly toyed with the idea following her unsuccessful bid for RNC chairman, but settled on a House bid as a more realistic opportunity and with the assurance that Akin would seek a spot in the upper chamber.”
At least one Democratic-leaning site noticed when Wagner’s Twitter account retweeted Catanesestating maybe Wagner “should switch to #MOSEN after all?”
What does Wagner’s campaign think of all of this?
“Ann Wagner is running for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District,” said Wagner spokesman Christian Morgan in an e-mail. “Period.”
MARTIN SOLDIERS ON
Martin, by the way, raised about $115,000 during the fundraising quarter, according to a press release from his campaign. Martin’s Federal Election Commission filings say that he has about $270,000 of cash on hand, compared to about $857,885 has in the bank.
“We had 433 people give under $200 or less and those are the people that really need representation in Washington,” Martin said in a statement. “I want them to know that I am not spending their hard earned money on expensive consultants and upscale cocktail parties but on getting the conservative message out.”
Martin spent some time earlier this month at Hansen’s Tree Service in O’Fallon. The visit was part of “Ed Works,” where Martin spends time at businesses in the 2nd Congressional District.
“The Obama Administration has spent over $500 million of taxpayer money to insolvent companies like Solyndra while overregulating businesses like Hansen’s that are constantly finding innovative ways to become more efficient,” said Martin in a statement. “Obama needs to spend more time talking to entrepreneurs like Jeff Hansen instead of creating phony stimulus bills that pick winners and losers."
State Rep. Jason Kander continued to receive endorsements for his bid for secretary of state.
Kander, D-Kansas City, received the backing of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 72. The organization describes itself as the “exclusive bargaining representative for more than 20,000 public servants who work for the state, counties, municipalities and other political subdivisions.”
“Throughout his career, Jason Kander has consistently focused on protecting and creating jobs and advocating for middle-class Missourians,” said Jeff Mazur, executive director of AFSCME Council 72, in a statement. “As Secretary of State, Jason will undoubtedly continue his work by fighting for the civic rights of everyday folks, protecting the investments of Missouri workers and providing diligent service to our state’s businesses.”
Joplin political scribe Eli Yokley reported that Kander also received kind words from state Treasurer Clint Zweifel, who used to serve a state representative in north St. Louis County. When Yokley asked Zweifel whether he was endorsing Kander’s candidacy, Zweifel said “I think Jason will serve as a great Secretary of State.”
Two Republicans, including State Sen. Scott Rupp, R-Wentzville, and State Sen. Bill Stouffer, R-Napton, have already announced in the race to replace Secretary of State Robin Carnahan. Carnahan, a Democrat, is not running for re-election.