Cash rolls in to circuit clerk candidates in June

Published 12:01 am Saturday, July 9, 2011

Campaign spending in June for county-level offices was heaviest in the six-person field for circuit clerk, according to a third round of finance reports filed Friday.

Incumbent Shelly Ashley-Palmertree, a Democrat, raised $2,554.50 for the period and $10,734.50 to date, reports show. The two-term incumbent clerk has self-funded about half her campaign. Contributions to candidate Jan Hyland Daigre, a former school board member and one of two running as independents, reached $10,381.69 to date, more than $8,700 of which was raised for the election season’s third reporting period ending June 30. No donations are noted on the report.

Reports on campaign cash were received by 23 of 38 candidates in contested races for chancery clerk, circuit clerk, sheriff, tax assessor, tax collector and the county board, according to the circuit clerk’s office. Mississippi law mandates full disclosure of contributions of more than $200. The primary is Aug. 2, and the general election is Nov. 8.

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Democrat Preston Balthrop, an auto sales manager, reported no money raised and $2,300 spent, duplicating last month’s report. Independent candidate Robert Terry reported $6,930 raised and $10,274.96 spent to date, with $1,024 raised by 10 people listed as “friends.” Republican David Sharp, a teacher, reported $700 for the month and $800 overall, mostly from himself. No report was received from his primary opponent, sheriff’s deputy Bill Jeffers.

In the hotly contested chancery clerk race, Republican Donna Farris Hardy, a retired health care administrator, reported $10,108 raised to date and $4,085.25 on hand. Her primary opponent, city accountant Doug Whittington, reported $1,900 raised to date and $4,259.83 spent. City Clerk Walter Osborne, the lone Democrat in the race, reported $710 raised and $3,004.97 spent, both to date. Independent Alecia Ashley reported $1,641 raised and $1,141 spent to date, with no activity reported for June. No report was received from Republican Dawn Cain Barnes or independent Gene Thompson.

The general election winner replaces retiring incumbent Dot McGee.

In the tax assessor’s race, independent candidate Ben Luckett reported $7,592.70 to date and $3,995.57 spent. Local jeweler Doug Tanner, also running as an independent, reported $6,920 raised and $6,571.75 spent. Neither listed donations for the June period. Democrat Angela Brown reported $5,427.70 raised and $2,844.44 spent to date, noting $250 gift from local fitness advocate Linda Fondren, whose name also appeared alongside her husband, James, on a $500 gift to District 2 Supervisor William Banks. Both Brown and Luckett are deputy tax assessors. Brown’s primary opponent, Gary Lick, showed a $400 gift from himself as the extent of his campaigning in June. Mike Caruthers, a businessman and the lone Republican in the race, reported $1,100 raised and $654.66 spent, mainly on signs.

The general election winner replaces retiring incumbent Richard Holland.

No report for the period was received from Sheriff Martin Pace or challenger Bubba Comans, a Democrat.

On the legislative level, state Rep. George Flaggs, D-Vicksburg, reported $28,824.08 in donations to date, with $3,147 spent for the month. Donations noted included $750 each from Strategic Healthcare LLC and Desoto Healthcare LLC, both based in Wiggins. A pair of contributions totaling $1,750 came from the Wiggins office of public accounting firm Tice & Associates and officials R. Brent Tice and Jamie Tice. Republican Sam Smith reported $1,625 in small donations to date.

State Rep. Chuck Middleton, D-Port Gibson, reported $8,900 raised and $3,900 spent to date. A $6,000 donation to himself was noted, as were $300 gifts from Mississippi Power, Mississippi Malt Beverage and AT&T Mississippi. Middleton’s district covers parts of three precincts in south Warren County.

No report was shown on the Secretary of State’s website for his primary opponent, Jeffery Harness, of Fayette, or for state Rep. Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, whose district covers parts of three north Warren County precincts. Democrat Jim Culberson, of Yazoo City, reported $17.40 in spending on a report on the site.

State Rep. Alex Monsour and state Sen. Briggs Hopson III, both Republicans, are unopposed this year. Hopson reported $2,550 raised and $418.80 spent to date, including two $500 gifts this period from MS Health Care Associates PAC and MS Dental PAC. No report was received for Monsour.

In other races, no report was received from independent De Reul in the race for county supervisor for District 2. A previous report showed $9,005.20 raised for the year. Banks ramped up fundraising in June, reporting $3,450 in gifts and $1,243 spent for the year. Contributions were engineer-heavy, with $500 from Warren County Engineer John McKee and a $1,000 gift from Madison County Engineer Rudy Warnock. McKee’s listed donations to county board incumbents totals $1,500 for the year. Warnock’s local political activity reached the same level, adding a $500 gift to District 4 supervisor candidate Casey Fisher, a Democrat. No report was received for Republican Trey Smith or Democrat Tommie Rawlings.

Tax Collector Antonia Flaggs Jones reported $799 raised to date. Republican Patty Mekus reported $350 raised, $250 of which came from retired businessman Bob Croisdale.

District 1 Supervisor David McDonald reported $7,800 raised and $5,332 spent to date, with $2,468 on hand. No donations are noted on the report. John Arnold, a real estate broker, lists a $1,000 contribution from RMW Associates LLC as part of $4,559 raised to date. No report was received for businessman Joe Channell. All three are vying for the Republican primary nod. No reports were received from independents Reed Birdsong or Jerry Briggs Jr.

District 3 Supervisor Charles Selmon, also the president of the Mississippi Association of Supervisors, reported $2,650 raised and $1,094 spent for the year to date. No report was received from Jim Stirgus Jr., the district’s school board member who is running as an independent.

District 4 Supervisor Bill Lauderdale reported $4,780 raised and $1,935 spend to date. Fisher, a minister, showed $1,070 raised and $546.07 spent for the year.

District 5 Supervisor Richard George reported $1,500 raised to date, with no money spent. No reports for the period were received for opponents Joe Wooley, J.W. Carroll or Ellis Tillotson. All four are independents.

Warren County’s three Justice court judges and three constables are unopposed in this year’s county- and state-level election cycle. All have declined gifts for the cycle.