County clerk candidates on top in reports of campaign finance

Published 11:45 am Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Candidates in contested primaries for circuit and chancery clerks led the money chase for campaign cash through last week, according to a fourth round of finance reports filed Tuesday.

Circuit Clerk Shelly Ashley-Palmertree, a Democrat, raised $450 during the July reporting period for primary candidates, which ended Saturday, and $11,184.50 to date. The contribution was not detailed on the report. Filings for the period were not received by the clerk’s office from her challenger for the party’s nod, auto sales manager Preston Balthrop, or from Republicans David Sharp and Bill Jeffers. Primary winners face independents Jan Hyland Daigre and Robert Terry in the Nov. 8 general election. Independent candidates must next report campaign spending Oct. 10.

Donna Farris Hardy, a retired health care industry administrator and one of three in the GOP primary for chancery clerk, took in $299 during the period and reported $10,704 raised to date. City Accountant Doug Whittington reported $2,874 raised and $7,894.94 to date, including $974 for the period. Neither detailed contributions for the period. Reports were not received from Republican Dawn Cain Barnes and City Clerk Walter Osborne Jr., the lone Democrat in the race. Primary winners face independents Alecia Ashley and Gene Thompson, where that winner replaces retiring incumbent Dot McGee.

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Mississippi law mandates full disclosure of contributions of more than $200.

In other contested local primaries, District 1 Supervisor David McDonald reported $800 raised for the period and $8,600 to date. Reports were not received from the three-term incumbent’s Republican challengers, John Arnold, a real estate broker, and Joe Channell, a businessman. The winner faces independents Jerry Briggs and Reed Birdsong.

For tax assessor, Democrat Angela Brown reported $6,187.70 raised and $6,086.88 spent to date. No report was received for Democratic challenger Gary Lick. Brown listed contributions from Camille W. Atwood and Joycie Bright.

Republican Mike Caruthers, unopposed for the party’s nomination for the office, reported $1,525 raised and $849.66 spent to date. The Democratic primary winner faces Caruthers and independents Ben Luckett and Doug Tanner, where that winner will replace retiring incumbent Richard Holland. Both Luckett and Brown are deputy tax assessors.

Tax Collector Antonia Flaggs Jones reported $799 raised and no money spent to date. No report was received for Republican Patty Mekus. Both are unopposed in the primary and will face each other in the general ballot.

District 2’s William Banks reported $3,950 raised and $1,738 spent to date. A $500 contribution is listed but not detailed. No report was received for Democrat Tommie Rawlings. The winner faces Republican Trey Smith and independent De Reul.

District 3 Supervisor Charles Selmon, unopposed in the primary, listed a $500 gift from Jimmy G. Gouras Urban Planning Consultants. The 16-year incumbent reported $650 raised for the period but no total to date. Selmon reported $2,650 raised through June. Spending equaled $1,879.86 to date on the report. Selmon is opposed in November by Jim Stirgus Jr., the district’s school board member who is running as an independent.

No report was received from Democrat Casey Fisher, who is unopposed in the primary for District 4 supervisor. Incumbent Bill Lauderdale, an independent, is trying for a sixth, non-consecutive term.

All candidates for supervisor in District 5 are independents and aren’t required to file reports until Oct. 10. Four-term incumbent Richard George is opposed by J.W. Carroll, Joe Wooley and Ellis Tillotson.

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. Ninth Circuit Court District Attorney Ricky Smith is also unopposed.

In legislative races, District 85 State Rep. Chuck Middleton, D-Port Gibson, reported $11,650 raised and $3,500 spent to date. Donations noted on the report were from the Mississippi Association of Educators, Advance America and Friends of Cecil Brown. No report appears on the Secretary of State’s website for Jeffery Harness, a Fayette attorney who opposes Middleton for the Democratic nomination. The winner wins the seat, held by Middleton since 1996. District 85 covers parts of three precincts in south Warren County.

No report for the period was received from District 56 State Rep. Phillip Gunn, R-Clinton. The two-term incumbent is unopposed in the GOP primary and reported no money raised or spent through May, with $38,660 on hand. Democrat Jim Culberson of Yazoo City, also unopposed in the primary, reported $83 spent for the period and $100.40 to date, with no contributions listed. District 56 covers parts of three precincts in north Warren County.

No reports for the period were received from District 55 State Rep. George Flaggs, D-Vicksburg, or Republican Sam Smith. Each is unopposed in the primary and will face each other in November. Flaggs first won the seat in 1987.

District 54 State Rep. Alex Monsour and state Sen. Briggs Hopson III, both Republicans, are unopposed throughout this year’s election cycle.