County candidates’ campaign finances disclosed

 

Illustration courtesy ProPublica

Illustration courtesy ProPublica

By Kathryn Jones

Editor

The high-stakes race for Somervell County judge is attracting the biggest bucks from political contributors, campaign finance records show.

Not surprisingly, compared with other local political contests on the March 4 Republican Party primary ballot, the candidates vying to succeed current County Judge Mike Ford also are spending the most to win over voters.

Their expenditures range from more than $1,800 to more than $3,200, campaign finance records show.

The campaign finance reports were obtained by the Glen Rose Current under the Texas Public Information Act. Candidates are required by the Texas Ethics Commission to file regular campaign finance reports.

The most recent reporting period ended on Feb. 22. Under state law, government entities have 10 business days to comply with the open records request. The Current received copies of the latest records Thursday afternoon.

The Current also obtained campaign finance records for the two previous reporting periods through Jan. 23 and Dec. 31, 2013. The next reporting period for campaign finance records will come after the primary election.

Ford chose not to seek re-election, setting off a run for the top county post by five candidates. They are retired businessman G. Darrell Best, who has been chairman of the Glen Rose/Somervell County Chamber of Commerce and a former member and president of the city’s 4-B sales tax board; business owner and Glen Rose City Councilman Danny Chambers; Municipal Judge Mickey Garrett, retired officer with the Somervell County Sheriff and former Glen Rose mayor; veterinarian and Glen Rose City Councilman Mike Jones; and Jerry Lee, who retired as director of community relations for Texas Utilities – part of which became Luminant, operator of the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant, the county’s largest single contributor of tax revenues.

Photo by Kathryn Jones/GR Current

Photo by Kathryn Jones/GR Current

Best and Lee are neck-and-neck in their spending at just over $3,200 each.

The retirement of incumbent James Barnard triggered a four-way battle to fill his seat on the Somervell County Commissioners Court, Precinct 4.  Candidates in that race also have been spending thousands of dollars to woo voters.

Incumbent County Treasurer Barbara Hudson and incumbent County and District Clerk Candace Garrett also chose not to seek re-election. Candidates are spending in those races as well. Country treasurer candidate Carrie Knight-Mapes has spent more than $4,700 so far, more than any single candidate in any county race.

Many of the candidates are paying for campaign expenses out of their own pockets, the records show. They do not have to detail that unless they plan to pay themselves back, Elections Administrator Cathy Thomas said.

No candidate has received a single donation from a contributor of more than $1,000.

Following is a summary of the reports. Cents are rounded off to the nearest dollar. Totals are for the three past reporting periods unless noted:

County Judge

Darrell Best

Total contributions: Best gave his campaign a $1,000 loan. His other contribution came from James Burkhart, who paid $477 for an ad in the Glen Rose Reporter.

Total expenditures: $3,211 from Dec. 10, 2013, through Jan. 23, for newspaper advertising, filing fee, business cards, lapel buttons, yard signs, road signs, banners, a campaign phone number, website and voter database.

 

Danny Chambers

Total contributions: Chambers reported receiving $1,000 from Bobby Wilson and his wife, Lou Ann, and two $100 contributions from Doug Ransom.

Total expenditures: $2,337 for newspaper advertising, filing fee, yard signs and sign stakes.

 

Mickey Garrett

Total contributions: None

Total expenditures: $1,806 for newspaper advertising, filing fee, campaign signs and campaign buttons.

 

Dr. Mike Jones

Jones filed for the appointment of a campaign treasurer, Katy Linnaberry. That is the only paperwork the county elections administrator’s office had received.

 

Jerry Lee

Total contributions: Lee reported giving his campaign a loan of $2,000. Lee’s campaign treasurer, Billy Riddle, gave the candidate a $500 contribution. Lee also contributed $400 to his campaign.

Total expenditures: $3,216 for newspaper advertising, checks, stamps, business cards, yard signs, mailing labels and paper.

 

County Commissioner, Precinct 4

Rick Clark

Total contributions: $3,450 (sources not detailed)

Total expenditures: $2,933 (expenses not detailed)

 

Mike Daniels

Total contributions: None

Total expenditures: $1,957 for newspaper advertising, filing fee, yard signs and printing for postcards.

 

Don Kranz

Total contributions: None

Total expenditures: $1,790 for newspaper advertising, filing fee, printing cards, voter lists and signs.

 

Edwin Mueck

Total contributions: None

Total expenditures: $1,781 for newspaper advertising, filing fee, donations to the Somervell County Youth Fair, printing.

 

County Commissioner, Precinct 2

John Curtis (incumbent, uncontested)

Total contributions: None

Total expenditures: $776 through Dec. 31, 2013, for filing fee, advertising.

 

County Treasurer

April Gore Campos

Total contributions: None

Total expenditures: $2,209 through Jan. 23 for printing, filing fee, newspaper advertising, Somervell County Youth Fair.

 

Suzanne Graves

Total contributions: $300, including $200 from Glen Wilson

Total expenditures: $710 for P.O. box rental, banner, cards, signs and magnets, newspaper advertising.

 

Carrie Knight-Mapes

Total contributions: None

Total expenditures: $4,704 for newspaper advertising, filing fee, labels, hard candies for event, T-Posts, cable ties, voter list, printing, mailing supplies.

 

Jennifer E. Stroud

Total contributions: None through Dec. 31, 2013

Total expenditures: None through Dec. 31, 2013

 

County and District Clerk

Jeff Harris

Total contributions: $750

Total expenditures: $1,848 for filing fee, signs and cards, newspaper advertising, voter list, printing supplies, postage, office supplies.

 

Virginia Perales

Total contributions: $200 from Bobby Wilson, $300 from Mickey and Candace Garrett

Total expenditures: $1,287 for magnets, signs, filing fee, banners and business cards.

 

Michelle Reynolds

Total contributions: None

Total expenditures: $423 for printing, advertising.

 

Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1

Ronnie Webb (incumbent, uncontested)

Total contributions: None

Total expenditures: $110 for ink pens.

 

Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2

Scott May (incumbent, uncontested)

Total contributions: None

Total expenditures: $611 for filing fee, pens.

 

Constable, Precinct 2

Vick Castillo

Filed for the appointment of a campaign treasurer (himself), but no other paperwork has been filed.

 

Jeff Slaton

Total contributions: A $500 loan to himself; $100 from Derrell McCravey, former Somervell County chief deputy; $100 from Roger Hill; $100 from Drew Slaton, Liberty, Mo.; $500 from Pat Bruce.

Total expenditures: $1,218 for filing fee, magnetic signs for vehicle, campaign signs and business cards, newspaper advertising.

 

Photo by Kathryn Jones/GR Current

Photo by Kathryn Jones/GR Current

 

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