Clinton leads Trump, congressmen in TN fundraising

Hillary Clinton continues to lead Donald Trump in Tennessee fundraising and has now collected more in contributions from the state than any of the Tennessee candidates for Congress facing election this year, according reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The Democratic presidential nominee, who is uniformly projected by polls as trailing Republican Trump in seeking Tennessee votes, has nonetheless raised $2,495,960 from donors with Tennessee addresses, according to the FEC figures. Trump has raised $1,211,038.

Among Trump donors is James A. “Jim” Haslam II of Knoxville, father of Gov. Bill Haslam, who donated $5,400 in July, according to FEC reports. Gov. Haslam earlier this month declared he will not vote for Trump and urged him to resign the nomination.

Candidates for federal office had to file new reports on Friday covering the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, and those figures are included in new totals for the 2016 campaign cycle.

All eight incumbent members of the U.S. House seeking reelection this year hold monumental financial leads over their opponents, some of whom have not reported raising or spending any money at all. FEC rules require filing a disclosure if more than $1,000 is raised or spent.

In the 8th Congressional District, where former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff won a 13-candidate Republican primary for the nomination to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher, his Democratic opponent, Ricky Hobson, has reported no spending on his campaign. Kustoff’s latest report shows total spending of $1,094,709. He also reported a campaign debt of $570,000. Kustoff had loaned his campaign $226,000.

The biggest spender in Tennessee congressional races this year was multi-millionaire George Flinn, a physician and radio station owner who finished second to Kustoff. His last disclosure shows total spending of more than $3 million, almost all through self-financing.

The new disclosures also show two political action committees spent substantial sums in the 8th District on radio advertising – the only independent expenditures reported in the state to the FEC. The American Conservative Union reported $160,000 spent in support of state Sen. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, who finished fourth in the GOP primary, while a PAC called Win for America spent $128,000 on ads attacking Flinn.

In the state’s other congressional districts:

-Republican Rep. Phil Roe of Johnson City has raised $387,417 for his reelection and spent $251,683 in seeking reelection to the 1st Congressional District seat. He had a cash-on-hand balance of $522,059 on Oct. 1. His Democratic opponent, Robert Franklin, has reported no receipts or expenditures.

-Republican Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr. of Knoxville, representing the 2nd Congressional District, has reported $318,984 in contributions, $393,862 in spending and a cash balance of $1,011,650. His Democratic opponent, Stuart Starr, has reported no contributions or expenditures.

-Republican Rep. Chuck Fleischmann of Chattanooga, representing the 3rd Congressional District, reports raising a total of $1,547,030, spending $1,033,788 and a balance of $565,805. His Democratic opponent, Melody Shakari, reports raising $79,783, spending $41,404 and a balance of $38,379.

–Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais of South Pittsburg, who was dramatically outspent by challenger Grant Starrett in the 4th Congressional District Republican primary, is poised to outspend his Democratic opponent, Steven Reynolds, in the general election. DesJarlais reports $583,245 in total contributions his campaign and $491,297 in expenditures with a balance of $116,890.

Starrett’s last report shows him spending a total of $1,696,672 in his losing effort with $876,562 of that in self-financing.

-Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper of  Nashville, representing the 5th Congressional District, has raised a total of $551,016 for his reelection, spent $461,241 and has a balance of $945,316. His Republican challenger, Stacy Snyder, has raised $42,616, spent $32,029 and has a balance of $10,586.

-Republican Rep. Diane Black of Gallatin has raised $1,609,099 while seeking reelection in the 6th Congressional District and spent $2,367,716 with a balance of $308,198 on Oct. 1. Her Democratic opponent, David Kent, reports raising $3,565, spending $3,111 and a balance of $454. Former Rep. Joe Carr, defeated by Black in the August primary, had total spending of $133,191, according to his last report.

-Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Brentwood, unopposed in the 7th District primary, has now reported raising $1,998,850 in total funds for her reelection – more than any federal candidate in the state except Clinton. She has reported spending of $1,248,471 and has a balance of $2,613,000 in her account. Her Democratic opponent, Tharon Chandler, has reported no contributions or expenditures.
-Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis, representing the 9th District, reports a total of $569,792 in donations to his reelection, $217,452 in spending and a balance of $970,177. His Republican opponent, Wayne Alberson, has reported no contributions or expenditures.


Haven’t seen a snake at the family lake for a couple or three years now, though once upon a time they were plentiful – especially banded water snakes. I suspect the population decrease is due to Great Blue Herons taking up regular residence at the lake – same as for a big decline in bullfrogs. Herons enjoy snake and frog for breakfast, lunch and dinner and, generally, they’re easier to catch than fish.

But on Saturday, encountered this king snake enjoying the fall afternoon. I’d guess its length at about four-and-a-half feet. Put my big foot beside it for one picture for size perspective. He/she was, of course, left unmolested by me – and if it stays away from the water, is probably safe from the herons.

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