Dayton spent most, Emmer most funds remaining in Minn. raceby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Democrat Mark Dayton leads the money race in Minnesota's gubernatorial contest.
Mark Dayton reported raising $4.2 million in 2010, although most of it -- $3.3 million -- was his own money. Dayton has $256,000 left in the bank. The DFL candidate reported spending nearly $2.5 million on ads.
Republican Tom Emmer reported raising nearly $2.3 million this election cycle. He reports having more than $353,000 left in the bank. His campaign finance report says he spent more than $1.7 million on ads since the primary and paid a fundraising consultant $27,500 earlier this month.
The Independence Party's Tom Horner raised $1.1 million and has less than $60,000 left.
The outside interest groups have been raising and spending money at a faster pace. The Democratic-leaning Alliance for a Better Minnesota raised $5.9 million and spent $4.4 million on ads criticizing Republican Emmer. MN Forward, a group mostly funded by corporations, reported raising $1.9 million and spent $1.3 million on ads helping Emmer.
Davisco Foods, Target Corporation, Rosen Diversified and Hubbard Broadcasting were the biggest contributors to MN Forward.
While most companies gave to independent groups like MN Forward working to elect Emmer, two companies gave money to a group working to elect Dayton. Kwik-Trip and Anheuser-Busch both gave to Win Minnesota.
Two national groups working to elect gubernatorial candidates are spending in Minnesota. The Republican Governors Association reported spending nearly $1.8 million on the race. The Democratic Governors Association spent $1.5 million to date. Both of those groups contributed directly to independent funds that are working to elect their respective candidates.
(MPR reporter Elizabeth Dunbar contributed to this report.)