Judicial candidate spending tops $250,000

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 31, 2002

[10/30/02]The five candidates for Warren County and Youth Court judge have collectively spent more than $250,000 to get the nod in Tuesday’s general election.

Robert C. Arledge, 45, one of five local attorneys seeking the $93,700-a-year job, continued in the lead, spending $201,836, or about 10 times as much as the next candidate.

Johnny Price, 56, reported spending $19,943; William Bost Jr., 57, $18,816; Clarence A. Whitaker, 59, $6,226; and incumbent Gerald Hosemann, 50, $7,067.

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Overall, the spending among the five was up $38,408 during the Oct. 1-26 reporting period, bringing the total for the campaign to $253,887.

The deadline to file the finance reports at the Warren County Courthouse was 5 p.m. Tuesday. By 8 this morning, all except Hosemann had filed. The four-term incumbent’s report was turned in just after 9.

No more reports of spending are scheduled before Tuesday’s voting, but late donations of more than $200 must be reported up until election day.

For the October reporting period, Arledge again reported no outside contributions, standing by his early-campaign promise to spend his own money to show independence.

He added $27,039 to his total. He reported paying 21 people an average of an additional $402 each for canvassing, with the largest sum being paid to former Central District constable J.L. Mitchell, who was paid $1,460 this period.

His campaign also reported spending $1,392 with The Vicksburg Post.

Campaigns for Price, Bost, Hosemann and Whitaker reported spending $3,543, $3,499, $3,284 and $895 respectively.

Price’s campaign reported spending $2,498 on radio advertisements and $642 on food for rallies.

Bost’s campaign included a sign service, a custom products company, a local radio station and a local individual.

Hosemann’s campaign reported spending $1,665 with the U.S. Postal Service, $948 on local radio advertisements and $671 for advertisements in The Vicksburg Post.

Whitaker’s campaign reported spending $1,044, including $895 on advertisements in The Vicksburg Post.

Candidates’ campaigns reported receiving $23,915 in contributions, with the only outside contributions reported being all from local individuals, $500 each to Price from Lucius B. Dabney and Ken and Kay Rector, $500 to Hosemann from Valeria Johnson, $500 to Whitaker from Roy D. Emfinger and $300 to Bost from Larry and Carolyn Lambiotte.

Candidates are required by the state to list those who give to or receive from election accounts a total of more than $200 during any one year. The annual campaign-contribution limit for individuals and political committees is $2,500 for county court races.

The election Tuesday will decide which of the five judicial candidates will sit on the bench for four or six years, depending on whether a constitutional amendment to increase judicial terms is approved by voters across Mississippi.

If no candidate receives a majority of votes cast, the top two vote-getters will be matched in a runoff election that would be scheduled for Nov. 19.