U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, the 3rd District Democrat at right in the photograph, led the Kansas congressional delegation by raising $600,000 in the second quarter. Federal Election Commission reports show U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, the veteran Republican, has the largest campaign account with nearly $3.5 million. (Submitted)
TOPEKA — U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids’ fundraising haul of $600,000 in the second quarter of 2023 was more than twice the total of other members of the Kansas congressional delegation, but U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran easily maintained his financial advantage with a campaign account stuffed with nearly $3.5 million.
Davids, the delegation’s lone Democrat, was the biggest spender during the three-month period by running through $190,000. That left her with $811,000 in cash at the end of June. She is among targets of Republicans nationally and has drawn attention of three GOP primary candidates in the eastern Kansas district.
“Of all the incumbents, she’s the one that has to be fundraising nonstop. That’s just the way it is, especially after redistricting,” said Bob Beatty, a professor of political science at Washburn University in Topeka. “The 3rd District is interesting. The GOP truly believes it can win it, but the votes say otherwise.”
Beatty said Davids would need to raise several million dollars for the 2024 campaign and a GOP nominee in that district would require $5 million to be competitive. The 3rd District is certain to attract large expenditures by outside groups, he said.
“One purpose of money is to scare away opponents,” Beatty said.
The Kansas Legislature, by overriding Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto, recast the state’s four congressional districts ahead of the 2022 election with the goal of ousting Davids. The changes eliminated half of Democrat-rich Wyandotte County and added a cluster of rural counties to support Republican challenger Amanda Adkins. In November, Davids defeated Adkins, winning reelection by more than 12 percentage points.
Jeanna Repass, chair of the Kansas Democratic Party, said the fundraising report from the second quarter affirmed “momentum behind Representative Davids hasn’t died down.”
Federal Election Commission documents submitted by the campaigns showed two of Davids’ Republican peers from Kansas in the U.S. House had more robust campaign accounts at this point in the 2024 election cycle.
U.S. Rep. Ron Estes, the 4th District congressman in office since a special election in 2017, raised $289,000 in the second quarter while spending $158,000. That gave him $1.1 million in cash, which led the four-member House contingent. In 2022, Estes won reelection with 63% of the vote in a district centered around Wichita.
In the rural 1st District, U.S. Rep. Tracey Mann brought in $191,000, spent $80,000 and retained $1 million in his campaign account. Mann carried two-thirds of the general election vote in 2022 to earn a second term in the U.S. House.
U.S. Rep. Jake LaTurner, the 2nd District Republican serving eastern and southeastern Kansas, took on $226,000 and spent half that amount in the second quarter. That left him with $513,000, the least among the state’s six federal lawmakers. He won in 2022 with 57% of the vote in November.
Moran, who entered the U.S. Senate in 2011 after 14 years in the U.S. House, generated $122,000 and spent $52,000 in the quarter. That nudged his bulging campaign account to $3.48 million. Moran, 69, was easily reelected in 2022, and wouldn’t stand again until 2028. In the alternative, he could be a GOP candidate for governor in 2026.
U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, who replaced retired U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts in 2021, had $597,000 in cash at close of the second quarter. He raised $148,000 and spent $23,000 over the three-month reporting period. He would be up for reelection in 2026.
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