Follow the money

Daily Journal - Follow the money: Big bucks fuel campaign for 1st District - Running for U.S. Congress in North Mississippi will cost a bundle this year, federal campaign pre-election reports due Thursday show.

Tupelo's Glenn L. McCullough Jr., a Republican, is the leading money-raiser among candidates in the upcoming primaries with $334,061.18.

Second to McCullough among the three Republicans is Southaven Mayor Greg Davis with $252,255.49, while Oxford ophthalmologist Dr. Randy Russell is third with $161,394.08.

On the Democratic side, state Rep. Steve Holland of Plantersville and longtime Prentiss County Chancery Clerk Travis Childers lead in contributions.

Holland reported total contributions of $239,024.25, which included a $200,000 loan from himself. Childers garnered $181,627.94, which included a $100,000 loan from himself.

Political analysts also look at the number of contributions: McCullough leads that category with 345 individual donors at $200 or more. Davis follows with 208. Russell and Childers are next with 82 and 72, respectively.

Nobody has worked the political action committees the way McCullough has - $45,500 of his war-chest comes from PACS, which are registered organizations established to influence Congress and other policymaking groups about their causes.

Russell is the only other candidate who reported receiving PAC money - $14,000.

Among the other Democrats: Tupelo attorney Brian Neely reported $750 in contributions. Alderman Marshall Coleman said he hasn't filed his FEC report yet because his campaign hasn't passed the $5,000 spending level he says controls report filings. Ken Hurt of Verona withdrew from the race, although his name will remain on the first-primary ballot.

By comparison, at the end of 2007 then-U.S. Rep. Roger Wicker had a campaign committee balance of $550,934 although he has had little serious competition for re-election since he won the seat in 1994.

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