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Ward begins fund-raising for Senate seat

A committee to elect State Rep. Dan Ward, D-Bonne Terre, to state Senator nearly doubled its amount of money in a three-month fund-raising period from April 1 to June 30, according to a report filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

The report said Ward’s campaign had $2,351.89 on hand at the start of the period, but ended the period with $4,398.35, despite raising $6,395.

The majority of Ward’s fundraising, $5,900, came via a golf tournament last month. Major contributors to Ward’s campaign during the period included private individuals, companies and a local radio station.

The committee spent $4,253.54 in the period, mostly on radio and newspaper advertisements.

While Ward said “It’d be nice to have a little more money in the bank,” he emphasized the main focus of his campaign at this point is getting to know people who live in the 3rd District, which includes St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Iron, Washington, Reynolds, Carter and southern Jefferson counties.

“I try and do as much getting out and meeting people,” Ward said.

Ward’s goal is to have $200,000 on hand by spring 2004, the politician said, which will mostly be spent on advertising heading into the November 2004 election.

Ward said his campaign is coordinating with the state’s Democratic Party as the election nears.

“We’re positioning ourselves for the race and my first positioning isn’t raising thousands and thousands of dollars,” Ward said.

Ward announced his candidacy for the state Senate race earlier this month and is as yet unopposed for the position.

State Rep. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington, is rumored to be his party’s first choice in running against Ward. Engler was unavailable for comment at press time, but has said he will announce his candidacy in the early fall if he decides to run.

Dr. Steve Tilley, treasurer for “Friends of Engler,” said Engler hasn’t committed to running for the state Senate, but it is a possibility.

“I think he’s been contacted by a bunch of people to run for the state Senate,” Tilley said.

The committee has filed a statement of committee organization for next year’s election, but listed “office sought” as state Representative, instead of state Senator.

Engler was elected in 2002 to the House of Representatives and is up of re-election next year if he doesn’t run for the Senate.

“Friends of Engler” has $15,542.18 on hand according to their report, but only gathered $300 during the reporting period. The committee spent $890.52 during the period, mostly on advertising and donations.

Tilley said Engler isn’t actively fund-raising, opting instead to focus on serving the 106th District, which Engler represents.

“Really, Kevin is concentrating on the job he’s doing for the 106th,” Tilley said.

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