Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Bel Edwards may have lagged behind the other major candidates for governor in fundraising throughout much of the campaign, but that has changed, according to the latest campaign finance reports.
He’s still behind what Republican gubernatorial candidates David Vitter has raised and spent, but Edwards reported receiving more than $750,000 on Sunday and Monday alone. That brings his contributions from donors since Nov. 2 to the $1.5 million mark — outraising Vitter, by far, during the past couple of weeks.
Vitter, during the same period, reported $130,000 in contributions during the special reporting period. He also received $57,994.02 of in-kind contributions to pay for travel, direct mail and accounting services. Of the nearly $58,000, $48,000 was used for direct mail and came from the “Republican Party of Louisiana.” Another $4,500 came from “Scalise for Congress” and was used for travel.
The remaining $5,000 came from Metairie-based CPA William Vanderbrook and was used for accounting services.The contributions are detailed in “special reports” filed with state campaign finance offices.
Candidates for major offices, like governor, must report all receipts in excess of $1,000 within a 48-hour period during the 20 days leading up to an election.
The special reporting period started Nov. 2 and continues through election day, Nov. 21.
Vitter has by far had the fundraising advantage throughout the race, but the pace has slowed considerably based on the reports his campaign has filed.
Edwards, a state representative from Amite, faces Vitter, a U.S. senator, in the runoff.
Edwards’ most recent report showed some 200 contributions during the recent two-day period from individuals and businesses all over the state. Receipts totaled $766,000.
The report also includes in-kind donations from the Louisiana Democratic Party of almost $150,000 for direct mail expenses paid to Mad Dog Mail.
The contributions are detailed in a 31-page report. More than 20 percent of the contributors were from Lafayette and the Acadiana area, where supporters of unsuccessful governor candidate Republican Scott Angelle held a fundraiser for Edwards. Angelle has not endorsed anyone in the runoff.
The contributors include a number of health care-related interests, some attorneys and law firms as well as current and former politicians. Edwards received checks from the campaign accounts of former Democratic Gov. Kathleen Blanco as well as Republican state Sen. Bob Kostelka, of Monroe, ex-Senate President Don Hines, a Democrat and Bunkie physician, among others.
Campaign finance reports are due Thursday detailing contributions and expenditures from Oct. 5 through Nov. 1 by all candidates and PACs that participated in the Oct. 24 primary election.
The last contribution and expenditure report that reflected activity from Sept. 15 through Oct. 4 showed Vitter with $1.4 million in cash on hand, after spending nearly $2.8 million during the period, and Edwards with $1.2 million, after spending about $450,000.
Follow Marsha Shuler on Twitter @MarshaShulerCNB. For more coverage from the State Capitol, follow Louisiana politics at http://blogs.theadvocate.com/politicsblog/