Out-of-area money plays big role in local elections

Some local state senate and delegate candidates have already built large campaign war chests, with out-of-district and out-of-state money playing a major role. State and national political action committees, or PACs, are also providing some candidates with major funding.

In the race for the 16th Senatorial District, Herb Snyder, the incumbent Democrat who chairs the powerful Government Subdivisions Committee, has been the most successful fundraiser of all the prospective legislators seeking to represent Jefferson County.

West Virginia’s early voting period continues through Saturday. Voters can cast their ballots at the Jefferson County Courthouse from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The primary election will be held on May 8.

Snyder has raised more than $74,000 for his campaign so far, including an almost $8,000 rollover from his 2008 campaign. He has so far spent just under $13,000 on his campaign, and holds a current war chest of almost $58,000.

Snyder has held two fundraisers this year. A November fundraiser at the Charleston Marriott raised almost $17,000, and a second fundraiser in April at the Shepherdstown Clarion netted him more than $10,000.

The biggest groups contributing to Snyder’s campaign are the racing and gaming industries – including racetracks, casinos, trainers and owners – who have given around $11,000. Various trade unions have contributed an additional $5,000 and energy and healthcare industry groups have contributed about $4,000 each.

Around $23,000 of the funds Snyder has raised this year come from PACs. These represent more than a third of his total, discounting the rollover from his prior campaign. Around $11,000 of his war chest comes from out of state, and about another $22,000 comes from sources inside the state but outside his district. In total, about half of the funds Snyder has raised this year come from outside his district.

Jim Ruland, Snyder’s Republican challenger, has so far raised just over $6,000 in contributions and has spent a bit over $3,000. He has also taken out a $25,000 loan from the Bank of Charles Town to finance his campaign, though he has yet to dip into those funds. None of Ruland’s funds appear to come from PACs or from individuals outside of his district, although most of his individual contributors’ addresses are not listed on his campaign finance disclosure forms.

In the 67th Delegate District, Republican Matthew Harris has not raised or spent any money at all, according to his latest campaign finance disclosure.

Republican Elliot Simon Simon has raised just over $5,000 and has spent just over $1,000 on his campaign. His current war chest is just over $2,500.

Simon’s funds have mostly been donated by private individuals. He received a single $500 donation from an out-of-district PAC representing the energy sector.

Democrat Stephen Skinner has raised over $35,000 for this year’s election. He has spent just over $4,000 and has a current war chest of over $28,000.

An April fundraiser held at the home of Sid Stolz and David Hatfield in Washington netted Skinner’s campaign almost $8,000.

Skinner’s biggest source of contributions is the legal community. Lawyers and legal PACs contributed moew than $11,000 to his campaign, around one third of his total funds. Unions also contributed almost $2,000 to Skinner’s campaign.

PACs contributed slightly less than $3,000 to Skinner’s campaign, less than 10 percent of his total funds. Skinner raised $4,000 from out-of-state sources, and more than $12,000 from out-of-district sources inside the state. Altogether, outside sources contributed a little less than half of Skinner’s total campaign funds.

In the race for the 65th delegate district, incumbent Democrat Tiffany Lawrence is currently leading the fundraising pack. Lawrence has raised a total of around $21,000 total, including a $12,000 rollover from her previous campaign. She has spent more than $8,000 on her campaign so far, and has a current war chest of around $13,000.

Unions and other labor interests have contributed the most to Lawrence’s campaign so far, at around $3,000. Utility companies have contributed around another $1,000.

About $8,000 of the funds Lawrence has raised this year come from PACs – the majority of the monies she has raised so far. Almost $1,000 comes from out-of-state sources, and more than $6,000 from sources in the state but outside the county – again constituting the majority of the funding she has raised this year.

Rick Shuman, Lawrence’s Democratic primary challenger, is so far funding his own campaign, having raised no money other than $115 dollars he donated himself. He has spent an additional $1,000 on campaign materials.

Jill Upson, the Republican challenger, has raised around $1,000 in contributions, all of $250 or less from individuals. She has personnally also loaned her campaign $2,500, and has spent just under $3,000 on her campaign.

In the race for the 66th Delegate district, Republican Paul Espinosa has raised more than $9,000 for his campaign. He has spent a little under $3,000 so far and has a current war chest of just over $6,000.

Espinosa has contributed $5,500 dollars to his own campaign, the majority of his funding. The energy sector has been his largest contributor, to the tune of $600. He has also received $500 each from the commercial and utility sectors.

Espinosa has received $1,500 from PACs, around one sixth of his total funds. He has received $800 from sources outside the state, and $800 from sources inside the state but outside the county. Just under one fifth of his total contributions have come from outside sources.

Democrat John Maxey has raised over $15,000 so far. He has spent just over $1,000 on his campaign thus far, and has a current war chest of over $13,000.

A March fundraiser at Skippers Downtown Dips and Deli in Charles Town netted Maxey just over $2,000. A second March fundraiser at Blue Ridge Mountain Community Center raised another $1,000.

The biggest interest contributing to Maxey’s campaign are unions, who donated just under $2,000. Maxey also donated just under $2,000 to his own campaign.

Maxey received over $3,000 from PACs, a little over one fifth of his total funds. Out-of-state donors gave $1,000 to his campaign, while sources in the state but outside his district contributed over $3,000. In total, just under one third of Maxey’s funding came from sources outside his district.

Fred Blackmer, an independent candidate, does not have a listed campaign finance disclosure listed on the secretary of state’s website because he does not have to contend in the primary.

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One Response to Out-of-area money plays big role in local elections

  1. you cant have too much money, even if it is from somewhereelse

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