Millions of dollars being raised, spent in Oklahoma US Senate race

Monday, October 18th 2004, 6:22 am
By: News On 6

(AP)_Democratic Rep. Brad Carson holds a slight edge in fund-raising over Tom Coburn, his Republican opponent in the race to succeed U.S. Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., campaign contribution reports show.

According to recently filed reports, Carson raised between $1.7 million and $1.8 million between July 8 and Sept. 30. Of that, $322,143 came from political action committees (PACs), while $119,577 came from joint fund-raising committees.

Coburn reported $1.6 million in contributions for the quarter, $292,673 of which came from PACs and another $11,600 coming from party committees.

Carson ended the period with $977,608 in the bank compared with Coburn's $512,320.

Little opposition in the Democratic primary allowed Carson to amass a bigger war chest. He reported spending $2.7 million for the quarter and nearly $4 million so far in the race.

Coburn was challenged by former Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys and Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony in the primary. His campaign reported spending $1.4 million for the quarter and $1.8 million for the race so far.

The contentious race between Carson and Coburn is considered to be one of the top U.S. Senate contests in the nation.

Both national parties believe with the race, Oklahoma voters could help decide which party controls the U.S. Senate next year.

Republicans now hold a 51-48 majority in the Senate, with one Democratic-leaning independent.

As a result, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been poured into the race by several outside groups hoping to influence the outcome.

Carson is a three-term congressman from the 2nd Congressional District, the same area Coburn represented when he was in Congress in the 1990s.