Candidates submit campaign finance reports

Published 10:57 am Thursday, May 17, 2007

Together, candidates have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to campaign for the upcoming county elections.

Candidates turned in campaign finance reports last week, and the amounts they have raised so far varies from literally nothing to thousands of dollars.

Those running for a county position must report throughout the summer how much they’ve raised and spent on their campaigns.

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Incumbent Sheriff Ronny Brown has raised $43,501 so far, according to his report, more than any other candidate in all the races.

It pays to get an early start, he said.

“As soon as I qualified, we started raising money,” Brown said. “We went back to the ones who contributed four years ago, and some new people wanted to support us.”

Tonja Butler (D), coroner — raised: $2,750; spent: $1,937.12

Audrey Minor Bailey (D), justice court judge — raised: $550; spent $1,004.97

Danny Barber (D), justice court judge — raised: $0; spent: $0

Paul Brooks (R), District 1 supervisor — raised: $0; spent: $0

Peter T. Burns Jr. (D), tax collector — raised: $620; spent: $410

Ronny Brown (D), sheriff — raised: $43,501; spent: $6,745

James H. Berry Jr. (D), District 5 supervisor — raised: $0; spent: $1,250

Audley Carter (D), District 1 supervisor — raised: $2,607; spent: $776

Sammy Cauthen (R), District 1 supervisor — raised: $800; spent: $0

Thomas “Boo” Campbell (D), District 3 — raised: $0; spent: $0

Patricia Dunmore (D), justice court judge — raised: $250; spent: $0

Glenn Etheridge (D), tax collector — raised: $10,076.56; spent: $3,807.03

S.E. “Spanky” Felter (D), District 5 supervisor — raised: $0; spent: $0

Britt Gibson (D), District 3 — raised: $3,000; spent: $2,700

Darryl Grennell (D), District 4 supervisor — raised: $0; spent: $0

Donnie Holloway (D), circuit clerk — raised: $3,185; spent: $361.80

Rose Daniel Johnson (D), tax collector — raised: $3,513.56; spent: $2,557.88

Wilbur O. Johnson Sr. (D), circuit clerk — raised: $7,345; spent: $4,195

Jerry Lyles (D), tax assessor — raised: $0; spent: $6,875

L. Jack Lazarus (D), justice court judge — raised: $0; spent: $688.50

Charles Michael Lazarus (D), District 1 supervisor — raised: $435; spent: $4,235.24

James E. Lee (D), coroner — raised: $0; spent: $1,434.40

Clarence Love (D), District 1 supervisor — raised: $150; spent: $259

J. Barrett Martin (D), county attorney — raised: $0; spent: $0

Tommy O’Beirne (D), chancery clerk — raised: $0; spent: $15

Mike Smith (D), District 1 supervisor — raised: $1,600; spent: $1760

George Souderes (D), District 2 supervisor — raised: $1,600; spent: $1,547.69

Raythell P. Smith (D), District 3 supervisor — raised: $0; spent: $0

Jessie R. Turner (D), District 5 supervisor — raised: $0; spent: $0

M.L. “Binkey” Vines (D), circuit clerk — raised: $0; spent: $0

Charles Vess (D), justice court judge — raised: $3,300; spent: $667

Henry Watts (D), District 2 supervisor — raised: $500; spent: $0

But Brown’s not finished raising money yet, he said.

He figured his campaign would need between $15,000 and $20,000 more to make it to the end of campaign season.

“We’re still collecting money because (the campaign) is going to take it,” Brown said. “It costs a lot of money to run countywide.”

In the run-up to last election, Brown raised and spent more than $50,000.

Like most candidates in all the races, the bulk of Brown’s expenditures so far — $6,745.63 — has gone to materials like signs, election literature and advertising.

The amount of campaigning his opponent Charles Woods does will ultimately determine how much Brown will spend, he said.

“The more he does, the more we’ll do,” Brown said.

Other candidates for other races have raised tens, hundreds and thousands of dollars.

On the other end of the spectrum, incumbent Circuit Clerk M.L. “Binkey” Vines has not raised any campaign funds, according to his report.

“I haven’t had a fundraiser yet,” Vines said. “I’m waiting until June 4 to start. I wanted to go ahead and get through all this other stuff.”

Vines has been defending himself against embezzlement charges and recently pleaded guilty to three counts. The other 10 counts were dropped, and the judge withheld accepting Vines’ plea, allowing him to run again.

Even though Vines hasn’t raised any funds yet, he said he was optimistic.

“I’ve got people who have already committed to what they will contribute,” Vines said. “I’ve got people trying to give it to me, but I want to wait until June to take care of it all at one time.”

Vines, too, said a countywide campaign was costly.

“It takes about $50,000 to run for a countywide seat,” he said. “Because of the costs of advertising and signs. It just costs a lot of money to put together a campaign.”

The next campaign finance reports are due June 8.