- Associated Press - Thursday, July 16, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Most of Mississippi’s statewide incumbents continue to raise more campaign cash than their challengers leading into the party primaries.

The exception is still in the Republican primary for state treasurer, where challenger David McRae is reporting that he collected more campaign cash than incumbent Lynn Fitch, just as he did last month.

Of the $216,550 McRae’s campaign reported collecting in June, $200,000 came from him and his wife. They were the top donors in the previous round of reporting.

McRae, an attorney who comes from the family that started the McRae’s department stores decades ago, said Thursday he thinks it’s good to invest in his own campaign to give confidence to his supporters.

“I don’t call my donors ‘donors,’” McRae said. “I call them investors.”

He also pointed out Fitch received substantial campaign donations from her own family when she was elected treasurer four years ago. Fitch could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

Fitch’s campaign reported that it collected $44,680 in June, none of which was listed as coming from her or others with her last name.

The most recent campaign finance reports show money that candidates raised and spent through June 30.

The three candidates reporting the most campaign cash on hand are Republican incumbents - Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves with $3 million, Gov. Phil Bryant with $2.8 million and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann with $1.1 million.

Democratic and Republican primaries are Aug. 4, and the general election is Nov. 3.

Eight statewide offices, several regional offices and all 174 legislative seats are up for election this year.

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Follow Emily Wagster Pettus on Twitter: http://twitter.com/EWagsterPettus .

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