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Doty behind in funds, but still confident — Campaign’s $110K puts her 5th in funding

Brookhaven state senator Sally Doty ranks near the bottom in fundraising among the nine candidates running for Congress this year, with her cash-to-date totals representing around 8 percent of all the money raised so far in the race.

According to campaign contribution reports through May 16, Doty has collected $110,761 in the competition to represent Mississippi’s 3rd Congressional District, with her spending pot only a fraction of the $1.4 million given to six of the nine candidates. The relatively small campaign account has put her at a disadvantage in advertising around the district’s 24 counties, but she’s hoping smart spending and name recognition — she’s the only candidate with legislative experience — will carry her places cash can’t go.

“I’ve handled some really important legislation in the last few years, gotten a lot of press, and a lot of folks know who I am statewide,” Doty said. “I have used my money very frugally and very wisely.”

Six candidates have raised a total $1,448,030, with the majority of that amount — 84 percent — given to the three Madison and Rankin County candidates, all Republicans. Former Baptist Healthcare Foundation chief and political planner Whit Hughes leads the pack with $430,577, and Madison and Rankin counties’ district attorney Michael Guest is second with $396,411. Wall Street investor Perry Parker is third with $390,412, though he loaned himself almost a quarter-million dollars to reach that total — and appears to be sitting on it, as he reported more than $247,000 cash-on-hand for the period.

Healthcare executive Morgan Dunn is fourth with $118,340. Doty is fifth, and Democrat Kevin Michael Aycox is sixth with slightly more than $1,500.

Republican education consultant Katherine Tate, Democratic state representative Michael Ted Evans and Reform Party candidate Matthew Holland reported no contributions.

Doty said her campaign has bought smaller, targeted advertising and relied on door-to-door introductions around the 24 counties in the district. She said she’s happy with recent polling data and hopes to make the expected June 26 runoff election, which be held between the top two candidates from the June 5 primary election if no candidate wins a majority of votes cast.

“I think I am right there,” Doty said. “I’m always amazed when I go to a town and immediately people say, ‘I met you at the rural water association meeting last year at the Legislature,’ or some other group. A lot of that is paying off for me now.”