Jul 26, 2011 9:49 AM by Lauren Wilson & AP
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal's lone Democratic opponent, a north Louisiana schoolteacher, raised a paltry $3,600 in the latest fundraising quarter and had less than $1,000 on hand, while the incumbent governor reported Monday having $8.8 million to spend on the race.
Jindal has yet to attract any well-financed competitors in his race for a second term, and his fundraising figures were considered a deterrent to possible big-name Democratic opposition.
Announced Democratic challenger, political novice Tara Hollis, reported having $953.21 in her campaign account for the October election.
In an e-mail to supporters, Hollis said since she's announced her candidacy two months ago, she's been focused on traveling the state to meet with former governors, Democratic leaders and other state leaders to learn about the issues facing Louisiana.
"I will be rolling out my platform in the following weeks. I believe that money follows message. Fundraising will be a major challenge, but I am confident the money will come," Hollis, of Haynesville, said in the statement.
Fundraising reports from candidates seeking statewide offices in the Oct. 22 primary were due Monday to the Louisiana Ethics Administration Program, covering donations and spending from April 16 through July 14. The reports are a bellwether of a candidate's ability to get out a message with TV and radio advertising and direct mail entreaties.
Jindal's campaign finance report shows $347,000 for the latest quarter, a slower pace than in previous quarters, but the governor was unable to fundraise during and immediately after the regular legislative session, which covered most of the period.
The governor, who spent more than $11 million four years ago, has taken in $14.1 million so far this election cycle from more than 25,000 donors.
Jindal didn't comment Monday on his fundraising figures or Hollis' report. Campaign spokesman Aaron Baer said, "I think the reports speak for themselves."
Still a question mark in the governor's race is state Sen. Rob Marionneaux, D-Gross Tete, who has said he is getting encouragement from Democratic leaders to run.
In other statewide races, Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne outraised his GOP competitor, Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, in the latest fundraising period. But Nungesser had more cash in his campaign account for the race, according to finance reports.
Dardenne reported raising about $458,000 and having $524,000 on hand. Nungesser reported raising $287,000 and having $1.1 million on hand.
In the jockeying for secretary of state, Republican Tom Schedler filed a report showing him with $171,000 in his account after raising $79,000. Schedler is holding the secretary of state's job after being appointed by Dardenne, when Dardenne won a special election for lieutenant governor last year.
Schedler faces competition from GOP state Rep. Walker Hines, who raised $63,000 and reported $206,000 on hand, and from Democrat Caroline Fayard, a lawyer who ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor against Dardenne. Fayard's latest campaign finance report wasn't filed as of Monday evening.
Several statewide officials - Treasurer John Kennedy, Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon and Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain, all Republicans - don't have any announced opposition so far. Kennedy has the largest warchest of the group.
Kennedy reported $1.9 million in his campaign account after bringing in $224,000 in the last contribution period.
Donelon raised $136,000, leaving him with more than $619,000 on hand. Strain received $41,000 in donations, loaned himself $250,000 and closed the reporting period with $431,000 in his campaign account.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, who switched to the GOP earlier this year, said he raised $51,000 and had $480,000 in his campaign account. Republican former U.S. Rep. Joseph Cao said in April that he will seek the post, but he hadn't submitted a fundraising report Monday evening and has done little public campaigning.
The fields for all the statewide races aren't certainly set.
The sign-up period for the October election runs from Sept. 6-8, and Republican House Speaker Jim Tucker, Democratic Senate President Joel Chaisson and Natural Resources Secretary Scott Angelle are among those who haven't shut the door on getting into some of the down-ballot races.