Close to $50,000 funding local campaigns

GREENFIELD — Nearly $50,000 of contributions is fueling local candidates’ campaigns for office in advance of the May 3 primary.

Any candidates who open a committee for their campaign must report who makes contributions to it and where and how that money is spent.

Twenty Republican candidates seeking election to various county offices submitted the paperwork in time for the deadline last week.

Coroner candidate David Stillinger is leading his race in terms of contributions and expenditures. He reported contributions of $3,625; he’s spent about $2,875 on his campaign and has debt of more than $1,000.

Joe Fortner, who also is running for coroner, has raised about $1,220 for his campaign. As of the reporting deadline, he spent about $1,120 and owes less than $300. Dan Devoy reported zero contributions and expenditures for his campaign for county coroner, while Rudy Nylund, the current deputy chief coroner, reported about $920 in donations, including $300 from current commissioner Tom Stevens and about $400 from Erlewein Mortuary.

The District 3 commissioner race between incumbent Brad Armstrong and Matt Holland is being fueled by more than $10,000 of contributions since the start of the year.

Armstrong carried about $16,000 in contributions from fundraising before Jan. 1 and raised an additional $7,200 since then. His challenger, Holland, raised nearly $3,000. So far, Holland has spent about $3,100 and owes himself upwards of $1,600. Armstrong has spent more than $13,500 and owes about $850. The political committee to elect Greenfield Mayor Chuck Fewell, which was established during his campaign last year and raised more than $60,000, gave $200 to Armstrong.

In the District 1 commissioner race, Randy Sorrell has raised the most money so far with contributions of more than $5,000. He brought about $6,200 to the campaign from before Jan. 1 and spent just over $9,000. The Tom Stevens for Commissioner committee donated about $500 to Sorrell’s campaign, and county councilman Bill Bolander gave $200.

John Jessup raised $1,450 and spent about $900; he has no debt; Randy Harrison was given $500 of contributions and has so far spent about $680. He owes just under $150 to himself.

The county council race — which is made up of 11 candidates, including two incumbents — has raised just under $25,000 for candidates.

Incumbent Kent Fisk and political newcomer Ed Moore, who is married to county clerk Marcia Moore, have so far raised the most in the race.

Fisk has donations from political committee Towle for Commissioner and Stevens. Fisk has raised just under $5,000 for his bid this year and has spent about $4,300. He has about $1,800 of debt.

Moore has raised about $5,800 of contributions, including $500 from the political committee formed to elect his wife. The political committee to elect Chuck Fewell for Greenfield mayor donated $200. Moore has spent about $4,100.

Steve Craney had contributions of $6,100, but it came from his own bank accounts; his debt includes $6,100 to himself. Scott Wooldridge reported contributions of $4,175; he owes $4,000 of debt. John Priore reported $40 of contributions since the beginning of the year, the smallest amount of any candidate who submitted a campaign finance report this election season.

George Langston and Bob McDaniel both raised about $500, while Dave Roberts raised $600. Martha Vail reported $2,773.55 of contributions, including an approximately $1,900 self-contribution. Mark Lozier reported $1,600 of contributions; he’s spent about $3,200 and owes approximately $1,600.

Incumbent Debbie Bledsoe — who at the close of the filing period had not filed paperwork to establish a political committee, which requires finance reports to be filed with the county election office — did not submit a campaign finance report.

And Janice Silvey, who is running unopposed in the Republican primary for treasurer and so far has no Democratic challengers for the fall, raised nearly $450.

Where does the money go?

Campaign finance reports — which detail where campaign money comes from and how it’s spent — are public record. They can be viewed in the election office at the Hancock County Courthouse, 9 E. Main St., Greenfield.

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Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.