Few big spenders in parish elections

Published 12:36 am Thursday, October 18, 2007

VIDALIA — During elections, candidates can spend big money on their campaigns, but with a few exceptions that’s not the case with most Concordia Parish candidates.

The big spenders by far in the campaign are sheriff candidates Glenn Lipsey and Randy Maxwell.

As of Oct. 10, the last date candidates were required to file campaign finance reports with the secretary of state’s office, Maxwell had spent $29,300 of the $38,180 he had received in contributions.

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Likewise, by that date Lipsey had spent $14,588 of the $22,185 contributed to his campaign.

The candidate who has spent the next closest amount of money was Clerk of Court Clyde Ray Webber, who spent $2,373.66 of the $3,500 received, $1,000 of which was his own money.

Webber’s opponent Justin Conner said he did not file a report because he is financing his campaign out of pocket.

“I haven’t put out any signs or printed any push cards,” he said. “I’m just doing it by word of mouth.”

Candidates who spend less than $200 of their own money or who do not receive contributions of more than $200 from a single source for their campaigns are not required to file reports.

And that is the reason many police jury candidates said they did not file reports with the Louisiana Ethics Administration Program.

District 2 candidate Willie Dunbar said he has not accepted donations toward his campaign and is watching his spending so he doesn’t have to file the report.

“I’m watching it really close, and it’s getting really tight,” he said.

District 4 Place “B” candidate Melvin Ferrington said he did not file the report for similar reasons, but checked to make sure everything he was doing was legal.

“I called the ethics board to make sure first,” he said. “I felt I could finance my election myself, but I’ve kept records of everything I’ve spent with credit card receipts and cancelled checks.”

District 1 “A” candidate Costa Pryor said he filed the report even though he has only spent his own money.

“I didn’t have to turn it in, but I did anyway,” Pryor said.

District 4 Place “A” candidate Cathy Darden also filed the report, though she listed the total number contributions and expenditures as being $0.

District 1 “B” candidate Barbara DePrato filed a report stating she has received $1,200 in contributions and has made expenditures of $1,903.45.

“I’m being very careful to claim everything,” she said.

District 1 “A” candidate William Jerome Singleton also said he did not file a report because he was financing out of pocket.

Other candidates could not be reached for comment.