Both candidates in the GOP primary for Kansas Senate District 14 collected significant amounts of campaign contributions, with challenger Michael Fagg outpacing incumbent Bruce Givens on that front.
Fagg’s haul between Jan. 1 and July 23 was $21,700, while Givens collected 17,425, according to reports filed this week.
Givens, though, had outspent his challenger during that time, laying out $16,341, compared to Fagg’s $13,596.
The incumbent also began the year with $30,964 cash on hand for a large cash advantage to start the race.
The reports are online at the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission. Tuesday is primary election day. The winner earns the four-year term because there is no Democratic candidate.
District 14 covers most of rural Cowley County, including the cities of Dexter, Burden, Udall, Cambridge and Atlanta. It also includes all of Chautauqua and Elk counties and most of Butler County.
Both Givens and Fagg and from El Dorado.
A first-term incumbent, Givens is an assistant director of special education with Butler County Special Services Cooperative. He was raised in Arkansas City.
The moderate Republican is using some of his money to fend off attacks by conservative outside groups on issues of taxes, Medicaid expansion and education spending.
Given’s financial report shows eight donations of $1,000, the maximum contribution allowed in state Senate races. Those political action committees were The Farmers Employee & Agent PAC, The Kansas Livestock Association PAC and Kansas for Higher Education PAC.
Givens also received large donations from solar power interests: Garden Plain Solar LLC, Colwich Solar LLC and West Gardner Solar LLC. All three companies share the same address, 700 Universe Blvd., Juno Beach, Fla.
The only donor from Cowley County was Larry Hahn, of rural Winfield, who gave $100, according to the report.
Givens’ biggest expense was $4,115 with AXIOM Strategies in Kansas City for postage and shipping of postcards. He spent another $1,048 with AXIOM for postage and shipping of palm cards.
He spent $1,264 with the RecordNews in Basehor for yard signs, and $3,078 with Wells Designs, Inc., in El Dorado for yard signs. He spent $1,700 with the Butler County Times Gazette on newspaper ads.
After expenses, $32,048 remained in Givens’ campaign account after July 23, according to his report.
The retired banker and former El Dorado mayor collected most of his money, $17,000, in donations of $1,000.
Like Givens, some came from political action committees: The Kansas Truth PAC, Kansas Bankers Association PAC, Restoring our Nation PAC and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce PAC. KOCH Industries in Wichita also gave the self-described conservative Republican $1,000.
One-third of his total contributions, though, came from members of the Awerkamp family and two companies they operate in northeast Kansas.
Lousie Awerkamp, Francis Awerkamp, Shannon Awerkamp, Robert Awerkamp and Inger Awerkamp, all of St. Marys, each gave Fagg $1,000.
The Onyx Collection and Traditional Trucking Corp., both of Belvue and both operated by Awerkamps, each gave $1,000.
Francis Awerkamp is a Republican member of the state House for District 61.
No listed donors are from Cowley County.
Fagg also received $455 worth of in-kind contributions, including $300 from the Kansas chamber for a voter data file.
He also filed a last-minute contribution report on Thursday, showing he had collected another $1,460 since July 23.
Nearly all of Fagg’s spending went to Firepit RP, listed with a PO Box in Lenexa, according to the candidate’s report.
He lists a total of $13,137 in expenses to that firm for yard signs and for printing mailers, fundraising letters, campaign announcements and push cards.
After expenses, he had $8,174 remaining in his account after July 23.