published Friday, July 11th, 2014

Few file second round of campaign finance reports

Campaign finance file
Campaign finance file

Second-quarter campaign disclosure reports would have shown voters who has been raising and spending the most money ahead of the Aug. 7 county election -- but only 15 county candidates filed by the Thursday deadline.

To boot, three of those who filed -- Trustee Bill Hullander and Sessions Judges Lila Statom and Gary Starnes -- don't have contests in August. And another three -- County Commission primary candidates Brent Lambert, Pam Ladd and Don Brown -- will not even be on the ticket.

That leaves only nine contested candidates who shared their campaign funds with the public.

Of those nine, incumbent Criminal Court Clerk Gwen Tidwell has raised the most money since the start of April.

Reports show Tidwell, a Democrat, has picked up $17,390 from supporters and spent $8,996, leaving $34,065 on hand.

Her Republican opponent, Rep. Vince Dean, R-East Ridge, did not file by Thursday. But first-quarter reports show he had $35,488 on hand.

Behind Tidwell, Republican Juvenile Court Judge Rob Philyaw, who was appointed in April and is seeking a full term, raised the second-highest amount in the three-month period.

Philyaw raised $16,450 this quarter, adding to his $22,417 war chest. But after spending $34,994, he's got $3,873.

His Democratic opponent, Yolanda Echols Mitchell, did not file by the deadline, but her first-quarter report showed she had $5,136 on hand in March.

District 6 Democrat candidate John Allen Brooks raised the third-most money, adding $9,275 to his $762 pot. After spending, he had $1,801 on hand.

His opponent, incumbent Republican Commissioner Joe Graham, has more cash than Brooks, but he hasn't spent nearly as much.

Graham started with $3,565 and raised $7,860 in the last three months. He has $9,124 on hand.

STATEWIDE

State primary candidates were a bit more active in reporting their funds.

Gov. Bill Haslam has more money than some federal candidates. He started with a $4.2 million war chest -- $3.5 million of that in personal loans -- and has raised $235,759 in the second quarter. After spending nearly $500,000, Haslam has $4 million on hand.

None of his challengers has a fraction of his dough.

The runner-up is Democrat John McKamey, who started with nothing. He's picked up $10,767 and spent $8,729.70, leaving a balance of $2,038.

House District 27 Republican primary race funding also remains a mystery.

Candidate Charlie White suspended his campaign to support Patsy Hazlewood. After raising and spending around $16,000, White has $4,839 on hand.

Tommy Crangle started with $28,026 and raised $10,031. After spending $18,191, he has $19,865.

Hazlewood did not file by Thursday. And she did not have to file first-quarter reports because she announced her candidacy after the first deadline.

Last month, her campaign said she had about $50,000 on hand.

Contact staff writer Louie Brogdon at lbrogdon@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6481.

about Louie Brogdon...

Louie Brogdon began reporting with the Chattanooga Times Free Press in February 2013. Before he came to the Scenic City, Louie lived on St. Simons Island, Ga. and covered crime, courts, environment and government at the Brunswick News, a 17,000-circulation daily on the Georgia coast. While there, he was awarded for investigative reporting on police discipline and other law enforcement issues by the Georgia Press Association. For the Times Free Press, Louie covers Hamilton County ...

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