Examining campaign costs

Published 8:37 am Thursday, July 1, 2010

What does it cost to run a campaign?

Political candidates are required to file campaign finance records under the Alabama Fair Campaign Practices Act, and examination of those numbers reveals a wide range of spending.

Candidates are not required to report any cumulative spending under $1,000, in which case a waiver is filed.

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The Superintendent’s race saw the largest amount of money spent on any single race.

Winner Randy Wilkes reported a total of $16,294, while Joseph Eiland spent $6,933.90.

Ricky McElwain was the top spender in the Crenshaw County Commission, District 1 race.

He spent $2,132.63, while W.L. Massey reported $1,194.10 and Robert McGough reported $1,086.73.

For Crenshaw County Commission District 2, Michelle Stephens reported $2,869.17 spent, and Michael Casalinuovo spent $924.40.

Incumbent Ronnie Blackmon filed a waiver, meaning he fell below the $1,000 threshold.

Louis Carpenter, who qualified as a republican, reported $463.27.

On the democratic side of County Commission District 3, Merrill Sport spent $2,335 compared to $1,410 for Kyle Richburg.

Republican candidate Neil Hughes, who will face Sport in November’s general election, reported $2,292.44 in expenditures.

County Commission District 4 saw Darryl Elliott spend $3,248.10, while the other three candidates were close in spending.

Chris West reported $1,354.06, Ronnie Hudson reported $1,325, and Doug Free reported $1,234.

LaFreda Daniels Griffin outspent Charlie Sankey, Jr. in the County Commission District 5 race.

She reported $2,437.76, while Sankey spent $1,090.

Incumbent Charles West was the top spender in the democratic Sheriff’s race, reporting $3,156.47, while Edward Williams reported $2,515.29.

Stanley Horn spent $984.27.

Republican candidate for sheriff Mickey Powell spent $3,552.30, and he will face off against West in the November election.

The races for Board of Education saw significantly less spending.

Despite falling below the $1,000 threshold, Troy Hudson reported $314.65, while his opponent Kirk Alsbrooks filed a waiver.

Dr. Charles Tompkins, who was running unopposed, also signed a waiver.

Ronnie Turner, candidate for coroner, filed a waiver.

Campaign finance reports are open to the public and can be viewed at the Crenshaw County Probate Judge’s Office.