Democratic gubernatorial candidate Laura Kelly was easily the most prolific fundraiser since the August primary among Kansas candidates for statewide office.
Kelly, who represents Topeka in the Kansas Senate, exceeded the total of Republican challenger Kris Kobach by $920,000. That imbalance would have been more extreme if not for fresh loans of $620,000 to Kobach's campaign by his running mate, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman. In the primary, Hartman loaned or donated $1.5 million to Kobach's campaign.
Independent candidate Greg Orman, whose campaign treasurer defected on Tuesday, raised $805,000, including $580,000 from himself, since July, according to the latest campaign finance reports. Kobach generated a total of $1.38 million in the reporting period, while Kelly hauled in $2.3 million.
The reports filed Monday showed Kelly had $530,000 cash on hand — eight times what Kobach had in cash and 35 times more than Orman.
“Since day one, the support and enthusiasm for this campaign has been overwhelming,” Kelly said. “Kansans of all political stripes have a home in our campaign to rebuild our state."
The Kobach campaign focused on a bus tour that moves Thursday into McPherson, Junction City, Wamego and Topeka. In addition, Kobach is to participate in a Friday event in Kansas City, Mo., with Vice President Mike Pence and a handful of GOP candidates from Kansas and Missouri.
"Republicans can win these races, but they are neck and neck, so we are sprinting to the finish line," Kobach said.
Orman, who also ran as an independent for U.S. Senate in 2014, said in an email blast to potential supporters that Kansas couldn't afford to elect Kobach or Kelly.
"These career politicians are the embodiment of this failed duopoly, boasting track records of putting personal ambitions above constituents' everyday needs," Orman said.
In the race to replace Kobach as secretary of state, Democrat Brian McClendon had contributions of $674,000, including a loan of $200,000 from himself. Republican Scott Schwab received contributions of $151,000.
Attorney General Derek Schmidt reported contributions to his GOP re-election campaign of $138,000. Democratic challenger Sarah Swain had donations of $20,000.
Vicki Schmidt, a Republican running for the open insurance commissioner post, raised $230,000, while Democrat Nathan McLaughlin took in $3,700. In the state treasurer's race, Republican incumbent Jake LaTurner received $95,000 to Democrat Marci Francisco's $28,000.