Campaign finances: Washington County mayoral candidates spent more than $25,000 during 2nd quarter

Zach Vance • Jul 10, 2018 at 10:30 PM

Running for Washington County mayor is not a cheap endeavor.

Tuesday marked the deadline for all candidates, including mayoral candidates Joe Grandy and independent James Reeves, in the Aug. 2 election to file their 2nd quarter financials, which covers all expenses and donations between April 22 to June 30.

With the county general election less than a month away, the Citizens to Elect Joe Grandy committee spent $18,844 during the reporting period while the Reeves for Mayor campaign spent less than half that, $6,879, according to finance disclosure statements filed with the Washington County Election Commission.

Grandy, the Republican nominee for mayor, started the reporting period with $16,096 on hand and collected $12,750 from 15 donors.

His largest donors, each contributing $1,500, include: Kenneth Nelson, Bob Nelson, Janie Branson, Dana Faust, Linda Latimer, James Powell Jr., Marilyn Powell and Ben McClanahan. Former East Tennessee State University President and current Washington County Commissioner Paul Stanton and his wife Nancy each contributed $150.

Meanwhile, Reeves, who is running as an independent, has largely financed his own campaign by contributing $6,863 from his own pocket. He also received $300 from Suncrest Homes.

Reeves’ largest single expense during the reporting period was $2,011 for signs and magnets from Precision Signz. He also spent $385 for campaign pens; $441 for t-shirts and $205 for balloons. The rest of his expenses were related to his campaign float in the Jonesborough Fourth of July parade and advertising in local media outlets.

Grandy’s largest expense was three payments totaling $11,137.52 for “campaign material, design and support” from Osborne, Shell & Miller Advertising. He also spent $996.56 to host his May 1 primary victory event at the Carnegie Hotel and the remainder on signage and advertising.

Grandy raised $17,600 between April 1 and April 21, according to his pre-primary report, and spent $36,773 during that same period to fend off challenger Mark Ferguson in the Republican primary.

Grandy listed one loan, from himself for $10,000, on his finance report.

In the state race for Tennessee’s 6th House District, incumbent Micah Van Huss has collected $32,500 during the 2nd quarter reporting period. Some of his largest contributions include: $6,800 from the Tennessee Education Association Fund for Children and Public Education; $5,000 from the Tennessee Employees Action Movement and $1,000 from the Advance PAC, a political action committee for a financial service company.

Van Huss’ largest single expense was $7,200 for research and polling from Virginia-based firm Public Opinion Strategies.

Before announcing that he was dropping out of the 6th House District primary, former Johnson City Mayor Steve Darden raised $27,247, which included a $16,797 contribution to his own campaign. Meanwhile, his only itemized expenditure was $16,797 for advertising from Creative Energy. His report shows he returned a total of $10,300 to eight donors.

Independent 6th House District candidate Murphey Johnson reported $1,003 in contributions, including $410 from himself and $1,394 in expenses. He started the reporting period with $584 on hand.

In the 7th House District race, Democratic candidate Nathan Farnor reported $962 in contributions, including $400 from himself. His expenses include $250 for research and polling and $306 for printing.

No 2nd quarter reports were listed for Democratic 6th House candidate Justin Leslie and 7th House District incumbent Matthew Hill, according to the state’s online campaign finance website.

Timothy Hill, who is seeking reelection in the 3rd House District, raised $2,250 from three political action committees, and state Sen. Rusty Crowe, who is seeking reelection in Tennessee’s 3rd Senate District, raised $3,000 during the 2nd quarter reporting period.

According to state law, local candidates can be exempt from filing a disclosure report if he or she is seeking an office in which the service is part-time and the compensation is less than $1,000 a month. This exemption does not apply if the office being sought is that of a “chief administrative officer” or if the candidate spends more than $1,000 during their campaign.




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