Chris Cannon and Merrill Cook, two millionaire Republicans seeking U.S. House seats this year, continued self-financing much of their campaigns after winning their GOP nominations in a June primary election, the latest Federal Election Commission filings show.
Cannon has dumped $342,200 into the campaign since a July 15 FEC report. Cook put $69,842 into his race over the summer.After winning his primary, Cook said the $500,000 that he put into his contested convention and primary battles would be - he hoped - the last he'd spend on his race. He said then that, now that he was the party nominee, financial supporters of the party should step forward and help him out.
Some have. Cook has raised $22,886 from individuals, $10,000 from political parties and $34,500 from PACs the past several months. But that's $2,000 less than the nearly $70,000 Cook himself has donated to his race.
Cannon is lending his campaign money, not giving cash to it as is Cook. That will allow Cannon, should he win, to use incumbent fund-raisers to repay himself some of the $801,883 he's put in so far. If Cannon loses to Rep. Bill Orton, D-Utah, it's unlikely he'll ever get much of that money back, since fund raising to pay off debts is very difficult for non-incumbents. Cannon has raised $194,496 from individuals, his reports show.
Cannon, whose wealth started with his part-ownership in Geneva Steel, has said all along that he needed to step forward personally to run an effective campaign against Orton, a three-term incumbent.
Cannon may well be spending more of his own money the last three weeks of the 3rd Congressional District race. His report shows he has only $11,684 in cash and, besides what the campaign owes Cannon himself, carries $77,000 in debt to other individuals and businesses.
Cook is running for an open seat this year in the 2nd Congressional District. Rep. Enid Greene, R-Utah, who defeated Cook in 1994 when he ran as an independent, isn't running. Cook faces Democrat Ross Anderson.
Anderson, a local attorney, has lent his campaign $23,000. But he's raised $248,577, almost all of it coming in individual contributions. Anderson has spent almost all of his money so far. Anderson has only raised $9,789 from political action committees. In the latest report, about $13,000 comes from fellow attorneys.
Anderson and Cook have argued over the summer about campaign spending limits. Anderson blames Cook for not agreeing to "reasonable" limits for the final campaign. Cook says Anderson has tried to turn the matter to his political advantage, making accommodation impossible.
As candidates plan their major media buys in the final three weeks of the campaigns, Anderson could be cash-poor. His report shows he has only $16,000 in cash and has $28,000 in debts.
Cook, like Cannon, also is cash poor. Cook has only $74.82 in cash and owes $19,463 in debts. But, Cook and Cannon have the ability to write themselves a check to pay for TV, radio and newspaper ads over the next three weeks.
Over the past 11 years, a Deseret News study showed, Cook has spent more than $3 million of his own money to finance six races for office and help in two citizen initiative drives. Cook made his money in a mining explosives firm started by him and his father.
Except for the fact that he faces a millionaire, Orton is in good shape financially. His report shows he has $204,823 in cash with debts of $53,485. Orton has raised $265,804 so far and spent $169,923. (Orton had some cash in his account when the official election finance season began Jan. 1.)
Much of Orton's money comes from PACs. He's raised $205,843 from PACs this year, only $59,961 from individuals. Many of the PACs donating to Orton since the July report are related to the banking and insurance industries, two industries overseen by the House Banking Committee, on which Or-ton sits.
Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah, way ahead in the polls over Democratic challenger Greg Sanders, hasn't had to spend much money.