Bryant leads in fundraising for Miss. gov’s race

Published 2:16 pm Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant holds an early lead in fundraising for the Mississippi governor’s race, raising more than three times the money of the next closest candidates, Democratic attorney and businessman Bill Luckett and Republican businessman Dave Dennis.

Campaign finance reports filed Monday show Bryant, of Brandon, raised $1.7 million in 2010 and has $2 million cash on hand.

“This fundraising report shows the strong support that Phil Bryant’s campaign has from all across the state,” said campaign spokesman Quinton Dickerson.

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Also in the Republican primary for governor, Dennis, of Pass Christian, raised $431,198 and has $527,200 on hand. Pearl River County supervisor Hudson Holliday raised $99,600 and didn’t report cash on hand. James Broadwater of Byram and Ron Williams of Moss Point, who have qualified for governor as Republicans, did not file finance reports.

In the Democratic primary for governor, Luckett, of Clarksdale, raised $486,556 and has $350,623 on hand. Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree raised $115,051 and has $65,924 on hand.

“We may not have raised as much as everyone else, but we are raising more enthusiasm and support,” DuPree campaign manager Sam Hall said.

In the 2007 governor’s race, Republican Haley Barbour spent more than $6 million to win a second term, while his Democratic challenger, John Arthur Eaves Jr., spent more than $2.5 million. Barbour is term-limited and can’t run again this year.

Any candidate who raised or spent at least $200 in 2010 was supposed to file a finance report by Monday. Candidates’ qualifying deadline is March 1, party primaries are Aug. 2, and the general election is Nov. 8.

Luckett said his finance report reflects support he has generated from traveling the state during the past year.

“Our campaign for governor is ready to deliver a hard-working state government, great schools and good, high-paying jobs,” Luckett said. “Professional politicians won’t get us there. I will.”

Dennis campaign manager Brian Perry said the campaign has met its internal goals for raising money.

“We were careful not to interfere with fundraising efforts for our 2010 Republican candidates, and we are only now tapping significant resources outside the coast,” Perry said. “All projections show we’ll have the funds necessary to deliver our message effectively to the voters, and it is the winning message.”


Mississippi secretary of state’s office: