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Vitter, John Young, Schedler, Landry lead Louisiana campaign money
Written by  // Tuesday, 05 May 2015 09:21 //

vitter-memoby Lou Gehrig Burnett, Publisher of Fax-Net
Who’s got the money?
    The first campaign finance reports, which cover the period January 1 through April 17, are in for candidates seeking a statewide office in the 2015 election this fall.
    While it may still seem early, time is fleeting in an election year.  It is already May, and qualifying is September 8-10, with the primary set for October 24.
    It is assumed, therefore, that the slate of candidates for each statewide office is set.  If someone is still thinking about jumping into one of the races, he or she will have to do it soon and run fast to catch up with those who have already declared.

    Raising campaign funds is always Job No. 1 for a candidate.  So, let’s take a look at the statewide offices and see who is running and how much moula they have raised and spent so far and how much cash they have on hand..
Governor’s Race
    Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal is term-limited after serving two terms, so it is an open seat.  There are four major candidates thus far, and that likely will not change.  Here are their financial reports:
U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R)
    Not surprisingly, Vitter is leading in the money race for the state’s top job.  
    Cash on Hand as of 1/1/15 – $3,504,174.
    Money Raised 1/1 - 4/17/15 – $1,144,275.
    Money Spent 1/1- 4/17 – $431,810.
    Cash on Hand as of 4/17 – $4,210,300.
Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne (R)
    Cash on Hand as of 1/1/15 – $1,549,526.
    Money Raised 1/1 - 4/17 – $520,925.
    Money Spent 1/1 - 4/17 – $198,848.
    Cash on Hand as of 4/17 – $1,854,113.
Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle (R)
    Cash on Hand as of 1/1/15 – $1,431,311.
    Money Raised 1/1 - 4/17 – $641,688.
    Money Spent 1/1 - 4/17 – $851,911.
    Cash on Hand as of 4/17 – $1,201,137.
State Rep. John Bel Edwards (D)
    Cash on Hand as of 1/1/15 – $784,919.
    Money Raised 1/1- 4/17 – $230,141.
    Money Spent 1/1 - 4/17 – $113,781.
    Cash on Hand as of 4/17 – $894,174.
    An Aside – Keep in mind that these figures do not include what has been raised by Super PACs on hehalf of a candidate.
Some political analysts predict that when it is all said and done, it will cost the next governor more than $10 million to get elected.

Lieutenant Governor
    There are no term limits for the position of lieutenant governor in Louisiana.  Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, the incumbent, has opted to run for governor, making the state’s No. 2 job an open seat.
    There are three major candidates so far.  Here are their financial reports:
Jefferson Parish President John Young (R)
    Cash on Hand as of 1/1/15 – $1,804,068.
    Money Raised 1/1 - 4/17 – $347,891.
    Money Spent 1/1/ - 4/17 – $83,281.
    Cash on Hand as of 4/17 – $2.041,412.
Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser (R)
    Cash on Hand as of 1/1/15 – $2,148,751.
    Money Raised 1/1 - 4/17 – $126,690.
    Money Spent 1/1 - 4/17 – $1,125,978. (Note: $900,000 of that was repayment of a personal loan that he made earlier to his campaign.)
    Cash on Hand as of 4/17 – $1,149,463.
E. Baton Rouge Parish President Kip Holden (D)
    Cash on Hand as of 1/1/15 – $31,033.
    Money Raised 1/1 - 4/17 – $15.000.
    Money Spent 1/1 - 4/17 – $13.681.
    Cash on Hand as of 4/17 – $32.353.
    State Sen. Elbert Guillory (R), an African-American who recently switched to the Republican  Party, becoming the first black state senator since Reconstruction, has hinted he will enter the race.
    But he did not file a report by the April 17 deadline. As of December 31, 2014, the last report available, he had $1,534 in his campaign fund.

Secretary of State
    Incumbent Secretary of State Tom Schedler, a Republican, is seeking another term.  He has one opponent in Chris Tyson, a Democrat from Baton Rouge.  Here are their financial reports:
Incumbent Tom Schedler (R)
    Cash on Hand as of 1/1/15 – $314,698.
    Money Raised 1/1 - 4/17 – $34,306.
    Money Spent 1/1 - 4/17 – $6,741.
    Cash on Hand as of 4/17 – $342,168.
Chris Tyson (D)
    Cash on Hand as of 1/1/15 – $77,987.
    Money Raised 1/1 - 4/17 – $79,268.
    Money Spent 1/1 - 4/17 – $53.486.
    Cash on Hand as of 4/17 – $98,811.

Attorney General
    Incumbent state Attorney General James “Buddy”  Caldwell, a Republican, is seeking another term.  He has two challengers so far.  Here are their reports:
Incumbent Buddy Caldwell (R) 
    Cash on Hand as of 1/1/15 – $301,623.
    Money Raised 1/1 - 4/17 – $369.007.
    Money Spent 1/1 - 4/17 – $45,147.
    Cash on Hand as of 4.17 – $616,890.
Former U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry (R)
    Cash on Hand as of 1/1/15 – $1,011,956.
    Money Raised 1/1 - 4/17 – $792,176.
    Money Spent 1/1 - 4/17 – $521,881.
    Cash on Hand as of 4/17 – $1,272,251.
Attorney Marty Maley (R)
    Cash on Hand as of 1/1/15 – $44,590.
    Money Raised 1/1 - 4/17 – $59,061.
    Money Spent 1/1 - 4/17 – $26,761.
    Cash on Hand as of 4/17 – $66,252.

Treasurer
    Incumbent Republican state Treasirer John  Kennedy  is running  for another term and likely won’t have viable opposition.  He briefly flirted with running for governor or secretary of state, but decided not to.
    Cash on Hand as of 1/1/15 – $3,523,017.
    Money Raised 1/1 - 4/17 – $152,082.
    Money Spent 1/1 - 4/17 – $80,903.
    Cash on Hand as of 4/17 – $3,523,017.

Insurance Commissioner

    Incumbent Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon,  is seeking another term.  He has one opponent, Matt Parker of Calhoun, who is not conisdered major opposition.  Their reports:
Incumbent Jim Donelon (R)
    Cash on Hand as of 1/1/15 – $442,350.
    Money Raised 1/1 - 4/17 – $60,050.
    Money Spent 1/1 - 4/17 – $40,346.
    Cash on Hand as of 4/17 – $456,055.
Matt Parker (R)
    Cash on Hand as of 1/1/15 – $13,970.
    Money Raised 1/1 - 4/17 – $48.800.
    Money Spent 1/1 - 4/17 – $47,058.
    Cash on Hand as of 4/17 – $15,712.

Agriculture Commissioner
    Incumbent Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain, a Republican, is seeking another term.  He has one opponent, Democrat Jamie LaBranche of LaPlace, who is not considered a viable candidate.  Their reports:
Incumbent Mike Strain (R)
    Cash on Hand as of 1/1/15 – $2,354.
    Money Raised 1/1 - 4/17 – $0.
    Money Spent 1/1 - 4/17 – $970.
    Cash on Hand as of 4/17 – $1,384.
Jamie LaBranche (D)
    Cash on Hand as 1/1/15 – $0.
    Money Raised 1/1 - 4/17 – $10.
    Money Spent 1/1 -4/17 – $10.
    Cash on Hand as of 4/17 – $0.
    The next campaign finance reports are due at the Louisiana Ethics Commission on July 27 and will cover the period of April 18 through July 16.  We will have an update at that time.

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