JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, of Missouri, has about five times as much campaign cash available as either of his potential Republican competitors in a race to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Akin has not announced whether he will run for Senate next year. If he does, he will be able to transfer more than $910,000 that he has amassed in his U.S. House campaign committee.
So far, former Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman and former gubernatorial chief of staff Ed Martin are the only declared Republican Senate candidates.
Finance reports posted online Tuesday by the Federal Election Commission show Steelman had $193,528 in her campaign account at the end of March. Martin had $158,858.
By contrast, McCaskill raised about $1 million during the past quarter and reported more than $1.9 million in her campaign account as of end of March. That means even Akin would have barely half as much money as the incumbent.
Former Republican Party Chairman Ann Wagner cited Akin's large campaign account Tuesday while announcing she was setting up an exploratory committee for a campaign in the 2nd Congressional District. She said it appeared likely Akin will run for Senate and thus the 2nd District he currently holds will become an open seat.
Akin spokesman Steve Taylor said Tuesday that the congressman has set no timetable for announcing a decision on the Senate race. But he added: "It's clear that he's looking at it. He's received a lot of encouragement to do so."
The finance reports show Akin raised about $458,000 during the past quarter and spent about $80,000.
Steelman's campaign spent nearly every dollar it raised during the first quarter of 2011. Her finance report showed receipts of nearly $187,000 and expenses of about $182,000. Her costs included about $140,000 to Pure Marketing LLC in Columbia for what is described as advertising and marketing services.
Martin reported receipts of nearly $163,000 during the past quarter and expenses of less than $3,700.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)