Jan. 10, 2011 06:34 PM
With a short election schedule, state Rep Fred Mills holds a significant fundraising lead over his competitors in the District 22 state Senate race.

With a short election schedule, state Rep Fred Mills holds a significant fundraising lead over his competitors in the District 22 state Senate race. In his campaign finance statement filed last month, Mills reported a campaign war chest of $175,471.70. In special reports this month, required within 48 hours of any funds raised after Jan. 3, Mills reports raising another $28,250.

Thus far, his closest rival in fundraising is fellow state Rep. Simone Champagne, who reported having $17,773.73 left in her campaign account last month (she also spent significantly more than Mills during the 2010 reporting period). Since Jan. 3, Champagne has raised another $2,750, which included a $1,500 contribution from Youngsville Mayor Wilson Viator.

Among the other candidates' reports last month, New Iberia attorney David Groner reported raising $18,338.95, including $10,000 of his own money. Armond Schwing reported $6,298, about half of which came out of pocket. Ruben LeBlanc reported $434. Ken Squires did not report any fundraising. The special election for the District 22 seat is Jan. 22. The next campaign finance reports will be due Jan. 12.