Flinn puts $2.7M into his congressional campaign

Memphis radiologist and radio station owner George Flinn has loaned his campaign for the 8th Congressional District $2.7 million, reports Michael Collins. That puts Flinn at the top of the multi-candidate Republican primary in cash on hand, though state Sen. Brian Kelsey leads in raising money.

Flinn also transferred into his campaign committee another $231,000 that had been leftover from his unsuccessful campaign for U.S. Senate in 2014. He has spent $212,000, leaving him with $2.7 million in the bank at the end of March — more than six times as much as Kelsey, his closest competitor.

Asked if he intends to self-fund his campaign, Flinn said he would put more of his own money into the race if needed, but that he also intended to raise money from other sources.

“We’ll put up whatever it takes to get our message out to the people,” he said.

Kelsey’s campaign raised $439,000 during the first three months of the year in the race for the 8th Congressional District, which takes in parts of Shelby County and 14 other counties in West Tennessee.

…Former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff has raised nearly $320,000 — almost all of it from individual contributions. Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell raised $145,000, all from individual donors.

Luttrell said he got a late start fund-raising because he didn’t jump into the race until the end of February, more than three weeks after Fincher announced his retirement and Flinn, Kelsey and Kustoff had all entered the race.

…Thirteen Republicans, four Democrats and five independents are all running to succeed Fincher, a Crockett County Republican who has served three two-year terms.

Other GOP candidates who reported raising money are Jackson businessman and political consultant Brad Greer, $104,000; Shelby County Register of Deeds Thomas F. Leatherwood, $36,000; Collierville businessman David Maldonado, $5,000; and retired Navy pilot John Mills, $5,000.

None of the Democratic or independent candidates reported raising any money.