Harwell running scared?

House Speaker Beth Harwell reports spending $181,366 on her reelection campaign in October while the Tennessee Democratic Party chipped in $20,000 to help her opponent, Democrat Chris Moth, who reported October spending of $115,460.

That would indicate Democrats — along with Harwell and Republican allies including Gov. Bill Haslam, who has gone with her on door-to-door campaigning and appeared in her TV commercials –  think the House speaker is seriously at risk in next week’s general election.

For comparison, Harwell spent just $8,111 in October of 2014, when she also faced Moth and wound up beating him handily. She has faced several controversies since then that Moth has sought to exploit – ranging from the Jeremy Durham sexual harassment scandal to Harwell’s refusal to back Haslam’s Insure Tennessee plan.

Figures from the pre-general election reports filed Tuesday and covering the period Oct. 1-29:

-Harwell reported $25,030 in contributions while spending the $181,000 – including $134,000 on TV ads. She reported spending $56,000 previously, bringing her total for the reelection campaign to about $238,000 since the August primary. The speaker still has plenty of money, having stashed cash for years in her campaign account, and reported a balance of $954,495.

-Moth reported receiving $49,581 in contributions during the period, including $20,000 from TNDP. His spending included about $100,000 on campaign ads. Moth had previously loaned his campaign $100,000, but had reported only about $11,000 in expenditures since winning a contested primary in August. He reported a cash-on-hand balance of $31,547 for the closing days

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