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Hawley outraises the field in his Senate reelection bid in Missouri. And buys a car.

Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA file photo

Sen. Josh Hawley outraised his Democratic opponents for U.S. Senate in the first three months of 2024 — and dropped more than $73,000 on a car at a Buick and GMC dealership in Troy.

Hawley pulled in $2.5 million between his campaign and his joint fundraising committee and he spent more than $1.3 million in the first three months of the election year.

One of Hawley’s higher ticket costs was a vehicle from a car dealership outside of St. Louis. The campaign’s filing with the Federal Elections Commission did not disclose the make or model of the vehicle, but on the dealership’s website, the price tag is in the range of a GMC Yukon.

Hawley’s campaign declined to comment on the car, but it could be an attempt to save money in the long run. Statewide campaigns often put lots of mileage on vehicles and, rather than rent a car for each trip, it could help bring down the cost over the course of a long campaign.

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Hawley isn’t the first candidate to spend campaign cash on transportation. In the 2022 Republican primary for Senate, former Rep. Billy Long spent around $15,000 a month to rent an RV he called the “Billy Bus”, which he personalized with a larger-than-life sized image of his face.

There is no competitive Republican primary this time around, but Hawley has more on hand than his Democratic opponents.

Democrat Lucas Kunce, who is easily leading the Democratic field in fundraising, was able to pull in more than $2.2 million in donations in the first three months of the year, which the campaign was quick to call a record haul.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the historic movement we’re building here in Missouri,” Kunce said in a press release. “And I’ll never forget who we’re fighting for — real Missourians.”

Both Hawley and Kunce have tailored their arguments to working-class Missourians. Hawley has been trying to help built the populist wing of the Republican Party, mixing a culturally conservative message with support for private sector unions (but not public sector unions). Kunce has also been supportive of unions and has trekked across the state to secure endorsements from as many of the state’s unions as possible.

Kunce spent more than $1.1 million in the first quarter and has $3.3 million on hand. That’s $3.3 million more than his two Democratic opponents — state Rep. Karla May and activist December Harmon — have raised combined.

May has raised a total of $37,059 over the course of her campaign and has $6,304 on hand. Harmon has raised $14,727 over the course of her campaign and has $1,968 on hand.

Independent candidate Jared Young brought in $62,061 in the first three months of 2024, but $40,000 came from his own bank account. Young, who is also trying to form a new political party in that state called the “Better Party,” has raised a total $365,377 in his campaign, but with $245,000 of his own money.

Young is still in the process of collecting the signatures necessary to appear on the ballot.