AP NEWS

John Murante holds large cash advantage over Taylor Royal in GOP treasurer’s race

April 18, 2018

In the battle of young guns that is the Republican race for state treasurer, Omaha resident Taylor Royal packed a pistol.

State Sen. John Murante of Gretna brought a cannon.

But Royal still has an arsenal at home.

Murante, to date, has raised significantly more money than his opponent in the May 15 Republican primary and has more to spend in the final stretch, state campaign finance documents show.

Royal’s campaign listed roughly $4,000 in cash on hand as of April 10, while Murante listed almost $202,000.

Royal, 28, has fundraising options, including the family support that funded much of his 2017 primary loss to Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert. His family gave him almost $250,000 for that race.

Royal’s campaign sidestepped a question Monday about whether he would seek family help. Royal, a local financial adviser, had said previously that he wanted to run this race himself, to raise the money himself.

“Taylor is humbled by the response to his message,” Royal campaign spokesman Sam Fischer said in a statement. “We are fundraising throughout the state and will raise money right up until primary day.”

This is Royal’s first financial report in the treasurer’s race. Unlike Murante, Royal did not file a 2017 report in the treasurer’s race because he took advantage of an exception in state campaign reporting requirements for people who run in city races.

[More: Taylor Royal, John Murante have similar visions but bring different experiences, plans to race for state treasurer ]

During the period of May 10 to April 10, Royal raised $19,000 from sources other than himself, including 17 donors and six businesses or political action committees that gave him more than $250. He also gave himself $12,000 and loaned himself another $3,000.

Murante, over a traditional fundraising period from January to April, raised $4,700 from individual donors and $15,250 from businesses or political action committees. He had already raised more than $86,000 by the end of 2017.

“With the support of so many Nebraskans,” said Murante, 36, “I will be able to continue to communicate my record of small-business experience and proven conservative leadership in the Legislature.”

Royal spent what he raised on the typical campaign machinations, political consultants, signs and a company that arranges political calls. He is advertising on billboards, the documents show.

Murante has spent almost $19,000 on video and media production, according to the campaign finance forms. He is already advertising on the Fox News Channel on Lincoln’s cable system, Spectrum.

Royal has spent the past several months crisscrossing the state, while Murante has split much of his time between legislating and campaigning.

The primary matters more than usual because the winner is likely to serve as state treasurer, a job that provides oversight of state spending, monitors the state’s college savings plans and boosts financial literacy.

Democrats fielded no candidate.