Candidates for lieutenant governor begin year with cash in the bank

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Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann speaks during a news conference at the state Republican party headquarters.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann has cash on hand of $2.6 million as he begins his quest for the open seat of lieutenant governor.

His opponent, state Rep. Jay Hughes of Oxford, is not beginning the year empty-handed. Hughes, a first term Democrat, has $437,461 on hand, according to campaign finance reports filed Thursday with the Secretary of State’s office detailing expenditures and contributions for 2018.

The Republican Hosemann, who is in his third term as secretary of state, raised $838,896 during the year and spent $232,378.

Rep. Jay Hughes

Gil Ford Photography

Rep. Jay Hughes, D-Oxford

Hughes raised $965,170, though $835,000 of that came from his personal funds and he spent $527,709.

Hosemann announced his campaign this year — in January — while Hughes announced in May that he was running for lieutenant governor.

In the open race for attorney general, Republican Treasurer Lynn Fitch raised $366,600, spent $103,606 and has cash on hand of $281,769.

Republican state Rep. Mark Baker raised $330,641, spent $44,666 and has cash on hand of $378,902.

In the race for the open seat of secretary of state, Republican state Sen. Michael Watson  raised $160,542, spent $5,432 and has cash on hand of $155,115.

Republican Southern District Public Service Commissioner Sam Britton raised $265,250, spent $11,792 and has cash on hand of $260,983.

In the race for the open seat of treasurer, Republican state Sen. Buck Clarke raised $33,250, spent $584 and has cash on hand of $32,665.

Republican businessman David McRae, who has said he is running for the post, had not filed a campaign finance report late Thursday with the Secretary of State’s office, according to a spokesperson.

Republican Auditor Shad White, who is thus far unopposed, raised $201,606, spent $22,147 and has cash on hand of $179,462.

Republican Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Andy Gipson, who is unopposed, raised $29,005, spent $15,986 and has cash on hand of $13,019.

Republican Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, who is unopposed, did not raise any money during the past year, spent $1,016 and has cash on hand of $260,223.

State law requires candidates to file campaign finance reports if they raise or spend more than $200 during a reporting people.

People wanting to run for office this year have until March 1 to qualify.

Republican Speaker Philip Gunn, who will be working to maintain his Republican majority, raised $202,203, spent $125,250 and has $316,867 in cash on hand.