JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has accumulated about twice as much money as Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder as the state’s top two executives build toward an expected face off in the 2012 gubernatorial election.

Finance figures released Friday by their campaigns show that Nixon and Kinder each raised a considerable amount of money during the past three months, but that Nixon raised more, thus widening his cash advantage.

Nixon, a Democrat, reported receipts of almost $1.5 million during the recent quarter, boosting his campaign account to $3.2 million. Kinder, a Republican, raised about $1 million during the quarter and had nearly $1.7 million in his account.

Although Kinder has not formally announced his candidacy for governor, he has said he will not seek re-election and is expected to challenge Nixon in next year’s elections.

The quarterly finance reports cover the period from March 1 through June 30, during which Kinder was dogged by media reports that he had received taxpayer reimbursements for spending hundreds of nights at St. Louis hotels during his two terms as lieutenant governor. Kinder wrote the state a personal check roughly equivalent to his hotel expenses, then wrote the state an additional check after the auditor’s office said his original calculation was a little off.

Kinder ultimately repaid the state more than $54,000, an amount that his campaign attorney said should more than cover any lodging, meal or travel expenses that could possibly be questioned as political or personal.

All things considered, Kinder did fairly well in fundraising, said political science professor Peverill Squire, of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

“Kinder’s numbers are probably about as good as you might expect. He’s had a tough couple of months and the Republicans are looking at a difficult fight,” Squire said. “The governor is well positioned and has a fair amount of money.”

Nixon’s campaign said he has received contributions from more than 2,300 individuals, including 1,500 contributions of $100 or less.

Unlike the federal government and many other states, Missouri does not limit the amount of money that candidates can receive from individuals, businesses or political committees. Nixon and Kinder both have received five- and six-figure contributions from individuals or political groups.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press


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