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Sunday, October 28,2012

Campaign finance reports show some hefty spending in county races

The run-up to the election for Athens County sheriff has so far generated well over $14,000 worth of combined expenditures by the two candidates, according to reports recently filed with the county Board of Elections.

And the contentious race between incumbent Democrat Pat Kelly and Republican challenger Steve Kane is not the only contested local election that's showing robust fundraising by the candidates; the two county commission races are as well.

In the Kane/Kelly contest, Kelly reported coming into the latest, pre-general-election reporting period – April 7 through Oct. 17 – with about $1,036, to which he added another $10,881 in new contributions, for a total of almost $11,917. Of that amount, he has spent more than $8,586, leaving him with about $3,330 going into the race's final days.

Kane hasn't done quite as well as the incumbent on the fundraising side, but he's not many furlongs behind.

Having brought forward almost $1,842 from the previous reporting period, the Republican has since raised an additional $8,594, for a total of almost $10,436. He has spent a little less than $6,010, leaving him a balance of $4,425.

For the previous, post-primary reporting period (Feb. 16 through April 6), according to an Athens NEWS story, Kane started out with a carry-forward of about $1,842 and spent nothing. For the same period Kelly carried forward or raised a total of $1,260, and spent $224.

Larger or notable contributors to Kelly's campaign include local business owner Demetrios Prokos ($1,000); Nelsonville business owner Eugene Edwards ($1,000), and the Ohio AFL-CIO ($250).

Kane received $1,000 from the county Republican Party, as well as $100 from former Republican Athens County Sheriff Dave Redecker, who also closed out his old campaign fund in a check to Kane for about $382.

Two of the three seats on the Athens County Commission are also up for grabs Nov. 6. In one race, Democrat Chris Chmiel, who unseated incumbent Mark Sullivan in the March primary, is facing Republican Randy Mace.

In the other, incumbent Republican Larry Payne is being challenged by Democrat Charlie Adkins.

Both races have generated well over $10,000 in total spending by both candidates since the last report.

Payne reports having started out the reporting period with an $865 reserve, to which he's added another $6,226 in new contributions. He's spent almost $6,711, leaving him with a little over $380 going into the final stretch.

His biggest single contribution came from his county party, which gave him $2,000.

Adkins is out-fundraising and outspending Payne, though not by a huge amount. After starting out with a carry-forward of about $1,347, Adkins went on to raise another $8,000, helped mightily by organized labor (he's a former official of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees).

Major contributors include AFSCME Ohio Council 8, which gave him $2,500; the United Food and Commercial Workers International, which contributed $1,000; and the Ohio AFL-CIO, which kicked in $250.

Of his $10,347 treasury, Adkins has spent more than $7,846, leaving him with about $2,501 going into the last days of the campaign.

In the Chmiel/Mace contest, Mace is outspending Chmiel by more than three to one. The Republican reports having raised a total of $7,881 since the primary, augmented by an outstanding loan of about $2,041 to his campaign. He's spent nearly $9,084, leaving him with about $838 at the end of the reporting period.

Chmiel started the period with about $27 left in his coffers, and went on to raise $3,866 more. He has spent almost $2,792, leaving him with about $1,101 in his treasury.

Both candidates raised most of their money through individual donors giving $250 or less; Chmiel put $500 of his own money into his campaign.

In the county treasurer's race, Democrat Bill Bias reported raising $4,500 – all of which came out of his own pocket. He has spent about $3,816, leaving him with about $684.

Libertarian Abe Alassaf, who's running against Bias, did not file a report, which could mean he did not raise or spend enough ($1,000) to trigger reporting requirements.

Despite having no opponent in November, incumbent county Prosecutor Keller Blackburn, a Democrat, reported raising $3,365 during the latest reporting period, which was added to a carry-forward amount of about $509. He spent about $2,406, leaving him with about $1,468 in his coffers as of Oct. 17.

IN STATE-LEVEL races affecting Athens County, incumbent Ohio House Rep. Debbie Phillips, a Democrat, has far outdistanced her Republican challenger, Charles Richter, in fundraising – though Phillips has donated some of her campaign funds to the Ohio House Democratic Caucus.

The two are competing for Ohio's 94th District House seat, a newly drawn district.

Her latest report shows her raising almost $138,000 during the reporting period, and spending close to $94,000.

Richter, on the other hand, has raised $2,250 and spent almost as much, leaving him with an Oct. 17 balance of about $66 – plus outstanding loans of more than $16,000.

In Ohio's 30th District Senate race, Democrat Lou Gentile is facing Republican Shane Thompson. In the latest reporting period, Gentile reports raising more than $373,000 and spending more than $315,000.

Thompson reports only about $21,500 in contributions, but also reports "in-kind" contributions of well over $500,000 by various incarnations of the Republican Party. He has spent less than $17,000 of his own campaign's money.


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