Sheriff’s race tops list of campaigns with most money raised

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 14, 2003

NATCHEZ &045;&045; Judging by campaign finance reports filed with the Adams County Circuit Clerk’s office, the biggest campaign this year is the sheriff’s race.

The five candidates &045;&045; four Democrats and one Republican &045;&045; have together raised around $55,000.

The biggest war chests belong to Democrat Ronny Brown and Republican incumbent Tommy Ferrell, who has no opposition in Tuesday’s primary.

Email newsletter signup

Brown’s contributions &045;&045; totaling $27,900 &045;&045; come from his own funds and, in smaller amounts, from supporters, while Ferrell’s come from a variety of supporters.

Ferrell, who has raised $24,275, had spent only $458 as of July 10. With no opposition in the primary, he has not yet had to campaign fully for the race.

Democrat Charles Woods has raised about $8,000, much of it in contributions from his own company.

Democrats Danny Barber and Andrea Drane have reported no contributions.

Other candidates raising big money are tax assessor hopeful Charles Harrigill.

Harrigill’s reports show he has spent nearly $11,000 of his own money on his campaign.

Democratic incumbent Reynolds Atkins, meanwhile, has reported no contributions.

Incumbent Circuit Clerk M.L. &uot;Binkey&uot; Vines has raised more than $35,000 compared to opponent JoAnn Brumfield’s $2,000.

What are candidates spending their money on?

For the most part, the usual campaign necessities &045;&045; signs, radio and newspaper advertising, sponsorships and postage. Woods’ report, for example, even details the supplies he has needed, such as a staple gun to assemble signs.

Other expenses are more out of the ordinary &045;&045; such as the $2,400 Vines spent on catfish, presumably for a campaign rally.

Harrigill’s reports list a total of $2,500 disbursed to Aleadra Dunkley, a Natchez resident and self-professed political activist. Dunkley’s citizen action group held a debate for candidates earlier this year.

Candidates have the option whether to list the reason for their campaign expenditures, and Harrigill said Thursday he did not remember specifically what the money given to Dunkley was for, although he said she has assisted him in his campaign.

Brown’s report details money spent on a market research firm in Florida. Some Adams County voters have received polling calls about the Democratic primary for sheriff over the past few weeks.

Candidates do not have to itemize contributions that are less than $200.

Candidates in the races for coroner, constable, justice court judge and supervisors’ seats have spent less money &045;&045; and collected fewer funds &045;&045; in their campaigns so far.

Campaign finance reports are on file at the circuit clerk’s office.