News Briefs

GOP rivals in Missouri attorney general race draw even in fundraising

By: - April 18, 2023 5:55 am

Will Scharf, left, and Attorney General Andrew Bailey (photos submitted).

The two Republicans vying to be Missouri’s next attorney general continue building their campaign war chests, with both reporting more than $1 million cash on hand. 

Incumbent Attorney General Andrew Bailey, who was appointed to the job in January when his predecessor won a U.S. Senate seat, raised $305,000 during the first three months of 2023. He has $293,000 cash on hand. 

The political action committee supporting his run, called Life and Liberty PAC, raised $644,000 and has $710,000 cash on hand. Independent PACs don’t have to abide by the same contribution limits as candidates. 

Meanwhile, Will Scharf — a former assistant U.S. attorney and policy director in Gov. Eric Greitens’ brief administration — reported raising $107,000, with $875,000 cash on hand. The PAC supporting him, called Defend Missouri, raised $575,000.

The largest donors to Bailey’s campaign are the family of Pauline MacMillan Keinath, whose grandfather founded Cargill. Life and Liberty PAC received $375,000 from the family. 

It also received $125,000 from the Kansas law firm of Michael Ketchmark.

Ketchmark, members of his family and people associated with his firm combined to donate $16,000 to Bailey’s candidate committee. 

Most of Defend Missouri’s money came the Concord Fund, which was formerly known as Judicial Crisis Network and is funded by groups connected to longtime conservative activist Leonard Leo. 

The Concord Fund donated $500,000 to Defend Missouri.

A pair of Democrats are also seeking the attorney general’s office. 

St. Louis attorney Elad Gross reported raising $28,000 during the first three months of 2023.

State Rep. Sarah Unsicker of Shrewsbury reported raising $9,000 and has $13,000 cash on hand.

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Jason Hancock
Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock has spent two decades covering politics and policy for news organizations across the Midwest, with most of that time focused on the Missouri statehouse as a reporter for The Kansas City Star. A three-time National Headliner Award winner, he helped launch The Missouri Independent in October 2020.