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Missouri gubernatorial candidates build war chests

Likely and declared Republican candidates for Missouri governor in 2016 each had more than $1 million on hand at the end of last year, according to campaign finance reports filed Thursday.

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich raised $140,000 in the fourth quarter of 2014, ending the year with $1 million in his campaign fund. Schweich won the race for auditor in November and has not yet announced whether or not he will run for governor in 2016.

He said last week he would make a decision in the coming weeks.

Former House Speaker Catherine Hanaway, who announced in 2014 plans to run, raised $71,354 in the fourth quarter. She ended the year with about $1.3 million on hand.

Attorney General Chris Koster, the only declared Democratic candidate, has raised about $180,000 in large contributions since September. He had not filed a fourth quarter campaign finance report as of Thursday evening. Koster could avoid a primary battle after Sen. Claire McCaskill announced last week she would not be running for governor in 2016.

That may leave him with more funds in the run-up to the general election.

Candidates for other statewide offices were also fundraising in the fourth quarter.

Republican Sen. Eric Schmitt, who’s running for treasurer in 2016, raised $100,000 in the final quarter of the year and ended with nearly $1.7 million.

Bev Randles, a Republican exploring a run for lieutenant governor, ended the year with about $1 million on hand. She’s raised $4,700 in addition to a million dollar contribution from St. Louis businessman Rex Sinquefield.

Filings for other candidates for statewide office were not available Thursday evening.