JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP)- An independent political committee reports $444,150 in its bank account at the start of July to help Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Sarah Steelman.

The Aug. 7 primary features Steelman, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, and St. Louis businessman John Brunner.They are competing to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Brunner spent about 10 times as much on his campaign in the second quarter of this year than did either of his two major Republican primary opponents, newly released records show.

Federal campaign finance figures covering April through the end of June show that Brunner contributed more than $2.5 million to his campaign and raised about $193,000 from others. Akin’s campaign brought in nearly $284,000 and Steelman collected nearly $242,000.

Brunner, Akin and Steelman are the top Republicans vying to run against U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., in the Nov. 6 general election.

Facing no primary challenge, McCaskill, nonetheless raised more than $2.6 million in the most recent reporting period and more than $11.9 million throughout the campaign. She spent more than $5 million from April through June, much of it on prepaid TV spots to run during the general election campaign.

The fight isn’t likely to let up between now and August, based on the reports. Brunner had just $182,000 in cash on hand at the end of the reporting period, but he also has a fortune estimated at as much as $100 million. Akin showed $1.4 million in cash on hand, and Steelman had $561,660.

McCaskill’s cash-on-hand level — even after snatching up $3 million worth of television airtime statewide to run in October — was more than $3.6 million.

On the Republican side of the governor’s race, St. Louis businessman Dave Spence raised about $1 million this quarter, dwarfing the fundraising of primary rivals Bill Randles, Fred Sauer and John Weiler.

In the bitter Democratic primary for the merged single congressional seat that will cover St. Louis, U.S. Reps. Russ Carnahan and William Lacy Clay have been raising more modest amounts, but both have enough on hand to ensure a raucous fight through primary day.

Carnahan raised $186,828 in the quarter, spent $309,307 and had $365,992 on hand. Clay raised $197,691, spent $167,951, and had $420,205 left. The former political allies were thrown into a primary contest by Republican-drawn redistricting.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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