Republican Senate Candidates Reaping Rewards of Wealth

Tuesday, 17 Jul 2012 11:53 AM

By Newsmax Wires

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Republican Senate candidates who can fund their own campaigns are making their mark in upcoming Senate primaries.

There are five candidates that fall into this category: Wil Cardon in Arizona, Eric Hovde in Wisconsin, John Brunner in Missouri, Linda McMahon in Connecticut, and David Dewhurst in Texas.

In the cases of Brunner and Hovde, the candidates could help the GOP gain Senate seats that might otherwise stay Democratic, The Hill reports. But in others – McMahon and Cardon – the wealthy upstarts may hurt the party’s chances of winning the seats.

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“What works to your advantage in some places cuts against you elsewhere,” a Republican strategist told The Hill.

The business success of self-funding candidates represents one of their chief qualifications. But their lack of experience can trip them up on the campaign trail, another GOP strategist told The Hill.

“You don’t have a legislative record for people to attack, you have a business background, at a time when the economy’s front and center. And you’ve shown you can create jobs,” the strategist said. “On the downside, they’re generally people who haven’t run before [and] so haven’t been vetted. There are trade-offs.”

In Missouri, the businessman Brunner has spent almost $5 million, helping him to achieve front-runner status in the three-way Aug. 7 primary against former Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman and Rep. Todd Akin.

The winner will face one of the GOP’s top Democratic targets in November, Sen. Claire McCaskill. Democrats privately acknowledge that they have more room to attack Akin for his work as congressman and to attack Steelman for her work as treasurer. Democrats also think Brunner has a better-run campaign than his fellow Republicans.

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