July 15th, 2004--- Jeff Smith leads the 3rd Congressional District field in cash on hand with almost $273,000 to communicate with voters during the last two weeks of the primary. Smith raised over $151,000 in the second quarter of 2004 and has $272,963 cash on hand in his bid to succeed Dick Gephardt as Congressman from the 3rd District of Missouri.
Second place Russ Carnahan trailed Smith by over $35,000. Smith’s best quarter of fundraising yet was powered by the $30,000 from sponsorships of his bike ride across the 3rd Congressional District and small donations over the internet.
“The people of the 3rd District have responded to my positive, progressive message with a resounding victory at the bank. The results prove that hard work, and new ideas will always trump the big name and the stagnant status quo.” Smith said.
Smith said that his campaign had all the momentum heading into election day on August 3rd. “We have the most energy, the best message, the most volunteers, the hardest working staff, and far and away the most momentum. We are motivated to bring progressive values to D.C. and ensure that our nation’s future is as bright as its past,” Smith added.
In addition to the campaign treasury, Jeff Smith’s campaign boasts the largest grassroots network of volunteers and activists. Smith has held 75 coffees and meetings in living rooms all over the 3rd District and will have at least 100 by election day. Over 275 3rd District residents have volunteered; many have already been hard at work knocking on doors introducing Jeff to voters all over the 3rd District.
“I am in living rooms all over the 3rd District every night talking to voters about the issues that face our region and nation. And most of them believe we need a someone to go to Washington, stand up to the radical right and fight for healthcare for all, a high quality public education, and a foreign policy consistent with American values. That’s what I’ll do and the voters I’ve met appreciate the fact that I’m willing to come and talk to them about their concerns and ideas.” said Smith.
Smith’s experience uniquely qualifies him to serve in a House of Representatives composed of 177 lawyers with an average age of 54. Smith, 30, has distinguished himself as an award-winning teacher of political science and public policy at Washington University and UM-St. Louis, as co-founder (with Susan Uchitelle and Sarah Smith) of The Confluence Academies, a group of acclaimed public schools in the City of St. Louis, and as a longtime youth basketball coach. Though this is his first run for office, Smith has been involved in several local and national Democratic campaigns, including a stint as Deputy Political Director for Bill Bradley’s 2000 presidential campaign.