Democratic challenger for 2nd District earns End Citizens United endorsement

One of the Democratic challengers for 2nd Congressional District in Missouri received an endorsement on Wednesday from a national organization that supports candidates who champion campaign finance reform.

Cort VanOstran, a political newcomer, and visiting lecturer at Washington University School of Law announced that he received the endorsement of End Citizens United (ECU).

VanOstran is running for the 2nd Congressional District, which is currently held by Republican Congresswoman Ann Wagner who is seeking re-election.

Cort VanOstran

The Democratic candidate said he was proud to have ECU on his side and has committed to rejecting corporate PAC donations to his campaign for Congress.

“I am proud to have earned the support of End Citizens United, an organization that believes voters, not corporate money, should decide elections,” VanOstran said in a written statement.

“As long as cases like Citizens United are on the books, corporations will continue to wield too much power in our democracy,” he said. “Voters in the 2nd District are tired of having their voices drowned out by the powerful and well connected. That is why I am committing to rejecting all corporate PAC money in this campaign. I’m running for Congress to make sure that the voters of the 2nd Congressional District have a representative who works for them—not for corporate special interests.”

According to VanOstran, Wagner has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in corporate PAC contributions since she first started running for Congress in 2011. VanOstran’s campaign stated that the candidate has never accepted a corporate PAC contribution, and has received over 2,000 contributions from individuals, almost 1,500 of which were for 100 dollars or less.

Currently, Wagner has a significant lead when it comes to campaign fundraising with over $3 million on hand compared to VanOstran’s $240,183.78.

Congresswoman Ann Wagner

The congresswoman’s office released a statement in February regarding the amount raised stating that the money generated will allow greater outreach to potential voters.

​”​2017 saw unprecedented support for Ann’s message of fiscal conservatism and making the federal government work better for Missourians,” the written statement said. “With more than $2 million raised already this cycle, and more than $3 million cash on hand, it is clear Ann has the a broad base of support to continue her work in Congress. Representing families in the 2nd District is a true privilege, and with record amounts already raised, Ann will clearly have the resources to take our message to the voters in 2018.​”

Wagner’s office which represents the 2nd District, is located right outside of St. Louis city and includes parts of Jefferson, St. Charles and St. Louis counties.

Including VanOstran, Wagner’s Democratic opponents include Bill Haas, Mark Osmack, and John Messmer.

The 2nd District’s primary will be held on Aug. 7.

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