Imagine what you and your family could do with $87,000.
Well, that’s what was spent between the successful candidates for four of the top Franklin County offices in the 2018 election cycle.
With the election less than two weeks passed, a few more final campaign expenditures may still be trickling in, but according to the most recent reports filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) successful candidates for county offices spent $87,392.
In addition to the races for county offices, five other candidates were successful in races to represent the county in the State Legislature.
One state senator and four state representatives spent a combined $185,551 in their races as of eight days before the election.
Topping the 2018 campaign spending was Presiding Commissioner Tim Brinker, Washington, who had two Republican primary opponents.
As of the late October report, Brinker had spent $60,854 on his successful bid for the county’s top administrative office.
A close second to Brinker was Matthew Becker, Washington, who, despite being outspent by his primary opponent, was elected as the new Franklin County prosecuting attorney.
Becker, a newcomer to county elected office, had spent $45,927 on his campaign by the end of October.
The fourth time was the charm for Tim Baker, Robertsville, who will be the new Franklin County Clerk at the start of 2019. Since 2012, Baker has spent tens of thousands of dollars on campaigns, running twice for First District commissioner and once for presiding commissioner.
In his race for county clerk, Baker spent $25,639 and defeated a primary opponent. He was unopposed in the general election.
The least expensive win for any successful county candidate was Collector-elect Doug Trentmann, Washington, who spent $8,972 on his campaign, defeating two primary opponents. He was unopposed in the November general election.
State Sen. Dave Schatz, Sullivan, was successful in his re-election bid for the 26th Senate District Nov. 6, and two days later was elected by his Senate colleagues as pro tempore, which is the second highest position in the upper chamber of the Legislature.
Without a primary opponent, Schatz reserved his major spending for the general election.
According to his 8 days before the election report, Schatz had spent $129,407 on this election cycle.
There also were primary and general election challenges for all four House districts that encompass Franklin County.
Topping the spending for House races was 116th Republican incumbent Nathan Tate, St. Clair, who was unopposed in the primary, but faced a Democratic opponent in the general election.
According to the MEC, Tate has spent $41,143 in this election cycle.
In the 109th District, Republican John Simmons, Krakow, defeated two primary opponents and a general election opponent.
According to the most recent MEC filings, he has spent $29,426 on his campaign.
Aaron Griesheimer, Washington, spent a fraction of other state candidates in his successful bid for the 61st House District. He did not face a Republican primary opponent and defeated his Democratic challenger while spending $12,313.
Another political newcomer is Dottie Bailey, whose 110th House District covers only a sliver of Franklin County, but encompasses the city of Pacific.
Bailey, the Republican, faced an opponent in the primary and a Democratic challenger in the general election. She was successful in both races and spent only $2,696.