Campaign funding in the 9th District race | MyFoxMemphis.com - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Campaign funding in the 9th District race

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

The D in democracy doesn't stand for dollars, but maybe it should.

"We are still raising money and we going to continue to raise money.  We have a lot of fund raisers coming up," says 9th District Congressman Steve Cohen.

The congressional race that includes one of the poorest cities in the nation may generate $2,000,000 in funding the campaigns of incumbent Democrat Steve Cohen and Republican challenger Dr. George Flinn, Junior.

According to the most recent Federal Election Commission reports, both candidates have money to spend and are completely different in how they get it.

"This will be the first time that I have been outspent," claims Cohen.

Cohen relies on individual donors and political action committees (PACs). Donors have contributed $177,000, most of it coming from people living in the Mid-South.

"It does have the effect of putting you in touch with individuals, interest groups...that is something a self funder never does," says Cohen.

Political action committees have been very generous to the three term incumbent. They contributed more than $343,000 to his campaign.  Groups representing the airlines, pilots, railroad concerns, employee unions and even FedEx cut checks to help keep Cohen in office, probably since sits on the House Transportation Committee

Cohen thinks it's "a smart way to finance your campaign."

Millionaire and media magnate Dr. George Flinn Jr. is almost the complete opposite. He's loaned his campaign $750,000 of his own money.

Donors have not given the former County Commissioner much, only $38,000 according to the Federal Election Commission.

Flinn is hoping for more, "I believe they will invest more in the campaign.  They are investing their time.  They are investing their love.  They are investing their phone calls, good wishes and efforts."

Nearly half of the $38,000 came from physicians, which begs the question, will repealing the health care over haul bill will be his top priority?

"I am not about going in there with any other agenda other than jobs, providing good health care and stop the hyper-(partisans)."

Flinn has attracted little to no PAC money, only $3,000.

"I take money from PACs if we see eye to eye on things.  I don't go out and try to get money from PACs, just to get money from PACs," says Flinn.

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