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Davis raises more in contributions for Kansas governor's race, but Brownback leads in cash

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TOPEKA, Kansas — Democratic challenger Paul Davis raised more money from contributions this year than Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, but the Republican incumbent enters this fall's race with significantly more cash, reports from their campaigns showed Monday.

Brownback had nearly $2.37 million in cash when the reporting period ended Thursday, partly because Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer loaned the campaign $500,000. Davis ended the period with $1.32 million.

Davis, the Kansas House minority leader, raised more than $1.1 million in cash contributions from January through July 24, besting the $744,000 collected by Brownback's campaign. But the governor's team said Davis' campaign burned through cash more quickly.

The Democrat has raised more than $2.1 million since he entered the race in August 2013, enough to run an aggressive campaign against a Republican incumbent in GOP-leaning Kansas. Outside of Colyer's help, Brownback raised almost $1.9 million in cash contributions since the beginning of last year.

Brownback faces a tougher-than-expected re-election campaign amid an intense debate over whether massive personal income tax cuts he engineered are stimulating the economy as he promised or wrecking the state's finances.

"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.

Brownback said in a statement that his contributions show that Kansans are wary of embracing Davis, a delegate for President Barack Obama at Democratic National Conventions in 2008 and 2012.

"This report shows that our campaign continues to build momentum," Brownback said.

The report also showed that Brownback's incumbency and Colyer's willingness to make loans were the governor's biggest financial advantages.

Governors typically don't close their campaign accounts after being elected, and Brownback began 2013 with $519,000 in cash, while Davis launched his bid from zero.

Colyer loaned the Brownback campaign $500,000 on Dec. 31, boosting its fundraising total so that it initially looked significantly larger than Davis' total. Colyer was repaid on Jan. 2, meaning Brownback's campaign spent more on the repayment than on other campaign-related activities combined this year.

Colyer loaned the campaign $500,000 again July 23, the day before the reporting period ended.

"Lt. Gov. Colyer is very committed to this campaign and this loan is part of the process to ensure that we have the necessary resources to mount a successful campaign," Brownback spokesman John Milburn said.

Davis' running mate, Wichita businesswoman Jill Docking, said the Democrat enjoys broad, grass-roots support "from Kansans of all political parties in all corners of the state."

Davis spent nearly $566,000 on its campaign this year, bringing its total spending to more than $798,000. Outside of repaying Colyer's loan, Brownback's total is $512,000, with about $370,000 of it after the start of this year.

Davis is unopposed in the Aug. 5 Democratic primary. On the GOP side, Brownback faces Jennifer Winn, the owner of a Wichita property management company, who reported raising and spending less than $14,000 from January through July 24.


Online:

Davis campaign: http://www.davisforkansas.com/

Brownback re-election campaign: http://www.brownback.com/


Follow John Hanna on Twitter at https://twitter.com/apjdhanna .

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