Mayoral candidates spend over $35k in election bids

Published 3:59 pm Friday, April 13, 2018

Candidates in the upcoming County Primary Election have filed their first round of campaign financial disclosure statements, which show candidates seeking the Republican nomination for Carter County Mayor have spent more than $35,000 combined so far in their election bids.

State law requires most candidates seeking public office to appoint a political treasurer and file quarterly campaign financial disclosure statements on set dates throughout the campaign process. Only candidates seeking election to a part-time office with compensation of less than $1,000 per month and who do not intend to spend more than $1,000 on their campaign are exempt from filing campaign financial disclosure statements under state law.

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April 10 marked the deadline for candidates to file their first disclosure statements, which cover donations collected and monies spent from the beginning of the candidate’s campaign through March 31.

The Elizabethton Star obtained copies of the disclosure statements filed by the four candidates for Carter County Mayor in the Republican Primary — Rusty Barnett, Leon Humphrey, Larry Shell, and Danny Ward. In total, the four candidates have a combined spending of $35,156.45 during the statement filing period.

The top spender in the campaign so far is Barnett, who reported disbursements totaling $15,423.74.

In his report, Barnett notes receiving a total of $700 in “unitemized contributions,” which is defined in state law as less than $100 from each donor.

Under expenditures, Barnett lists purchases made for campaign materials such as hats, shirts, and signs, as well as printing, advertising, and fuel expenses.

Coming in second in campaign spending for the first period is incumbent Leon Humphrey, who reported disbursements of $14,804.65

In his report, Humphrey lists no outside contributors to his campaign and notes his own contribution of the full $14,804.65.

Under expenditures, Humphrey lists purchases made for campaign materials such as shirts, signs, printing, and mailing of brochures, as well as the purchase of a website domain address along with website hosting and editing fees.

Ward, who is currently in third place in campaign spending, reported expenditures of $3,283.02 for the filing period.

In his report, Ward lists no outside contributors to his campaign and notes his own contribution of $3,913.37 to his campaign fund, with an on-hand balance of $629.35 as of March 31.

Under expenditures, Ward lists purchases of campaign materials such as signs and cards, advertising, office supplies, and the purchase of food items for a campaign event.

Rounding out the mayoral hopefuls in fourth place in campaign spending is Shell, who reported disbursements of $1,645.04 for the filing period.

In his report, Shell lists $500 in campaign contributions, which he identified as coming from one donor.

Under expenditures, Shell listed purchases of campaign materials such as signs, banners, shirts, and decals.

The second quarterly campaign financial disclosure statement filing period ends on June 30, and local candidates must file their report with the Carter County Election Commission no later than July 10.