Candidates report campaign finances

Published 11:04 pm Monday, April 23, 2018

Just over one month out from the June primaries, local candidates have been bringing in – and spending – money for their campaigns.

The race to represent District 89 in the House of Representatives has far and away the most money changing hands as Wes Allen and Marcus Paramore compete for the seat.

Nearly 150,000 has been raised by the two candidates combined, with Allen bringing in $94,495 as of his latest report on April 3 and Paramore raising $52,623 through the same period.

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Regardless of the level of money coming into each campaign, both candidates had spent nearly the exact same amount of money as of their latest reports. Paramore had spent $33,881 and Allen had spent $33,698.

Allen jumped out of the gate quickly, raising about half of his funds back in June 2017 with $46,155 coming into his campaign in those first 30 days of his campaign. Nearly $20,000 of that came from “Friends of Judge Wes Allen,” which was listed as an “other” source instead of business, individual or political action committee. Allen also received numerous donations from individuals and businesses.

The majority of Allen’s expenditures have gone toward advertising costs, with the majority being directed to Virtus Solutions for advertising and polling.

Paramore has seen money coming in from more political action committees in addition to receiving financial support from individuals and businesses.

In June 2017, Paramore received donations from Free Enterprise PAC, Friends of Retirees PAC and ACULAC for a total of $11,000. The campaign also donated $98.50 to itself.

Another closely watched race is between Michael Bunn and Alton Starling to fill Allen’s seat as probate judge.

Thus far, Bunn has raised $17,000 in monetary contributions and $8,300 in non-monetary contributions and spent  $9,380 of that. Starling, who joined the race later in the picture, has $6,000 in monetary contributions, $1,732 in non-monetary contributions and has spent $12,737. Starling’s reports also list $11,000 in other receipts, which include $5,000 and $6,000 loans to himself.

Bunn has likewise contributed much of his own funding, contributing $7,500 to his own campaign. His biggest contribution though has been $14,130 of in-kind contributions from Virtus solutions for administrative, advertising and consulting and polling costs over the course of the campaign

Editor’s note: Future stories will delve further into these and other races’ financial reports as the June election approaches.