This article first appeared in The Hutchinson News: www.hutchnews.com/news/20180416/estes-holds-fundraising-advantage-in-4th-district.
U.S. Rep. Ron Estes, R-Wichita, has built up a campaign war chest that dwarfs the accounts of two Democrats vying in the August primary election to challenge Estes in the fall.
Quarterly campaign finance reports due Sunday showed:
- Estes: Had $463,066 cash on hand at the end of March. He has collected more political action campaign dollars than the Democrats, including about $15,000 during this election cycle from the Koch PAC. Estes still has more money, overall, from individuals than from PACs.
- James Thompson, D-Wichita: Had $16,851 in cash at the end of March. The lawyer ran against Estes in a special election in 2017 and is hoping to defeat Estes in a rematch this November.
- Laura Lombard, D-Wichita: Had $4,056 in cash as of March 30. She founded a consulting business to help companies export products and was among Democrats who ultimately lost to Thompson last year.
Estes is the former Kansas state treasurer who bested Thompson and a Libertarian candidate in a special election in 2017 to fill the vacancy created when U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo became CIA director. Estes won 52 percent of the vote in the three-man race, to Thompson’s 46 percent.
The 4th Congressional District covers a number of counties in the region, including Pratt, Pawnee, Stafford, Barber, Comanche, Edwards, Harper, Harvey and Kingman counties.
Reno County is in the 1st Congressional District. U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Great Bend, running unopposed so far in the GOP primary and with no Democrat yet in the race, had $627,428 in cash on hand at the end of March.