A 27-year-old first-term Republican state representative from Oklahoma City who put $500,000 of his own money into his campaign has amassed the biggest war chest in the race to succeed U.S. Rep. James Lankford in the 5th Congressional District, federal campaign finance reports show.
Documents provided by Republican state Rep. Mike Turner's campaign on Wednesday show he spent about $170,000 during the reporting cycle that ended March 31, and finished the period with more than $333,000 in cash on hand. Most of Turner's expenditures went to a television ad buy in the Oklahoma City market and on targeted cable channels.
Federal campaign finance reports covering fundraising and expenditures during the first quarter of 2014 were due by midnight Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission.
Turner, whose family owned Turner Bros Trucking for four generations, said self-funding his campaign allows him not to take political contributions from lobbyists or political action committees.
“We have too many foxes guarding the taxpayers’ hen house in politics today — people who raise money from those they regulate and then return those favors when in office,” Turner said in a statement. “By largely self-funding, I can be an unbiased watchdog for taxpayers.”
The 5th Congressional District, which includes nearly all of Oklahoma County, along with Seminole and Pottawatomie counties to the east, is the state's only open congressional seat on the ballot in 2014, and three Democrats, three independents, and six Republicans are vying for the post. Lankford announced in January that he was stepping down to run for U.S. Senate.
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