Sheriff candidates spend nearly $14k in election bids

Published 8:47 am Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Candidates in the upcoming County Primary and General Elections have filed their first round of campaign financial disclosure statements, which show candidates seeking the office of Carter County Sheriff have spent nearly $14,000 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 three candidates for Carter County Sheriff — Rocky Croy, Dexter Lunceford, and Steve Stevenson. Croy and Lunceford are facing off during the Primary Election to become the Republican nominee for the office. Stevenson is running as an Independent candidate in the August General Election and will face off against the winner of the May 1 Primary.

In total, the three candidates have a combined spending of $13,869.15 during the statement filing period.

The top spender in the campaign so far is Croy, who reported expenditures of $9,478.09.

In his report, Croy notes receiving a total of $10,135 in contributions. Of that amount, $110 is listed as “unitemized contributions,” which is defined in state law as $100 or less from each donor. Croy reports $10,025 in itemized contributions, which state law defines as donations of more than $100 from an individual donor. Included in that total is $1,400 which Croy denotes as his own contribution to his election campaign.

Of the itemized donors, seven are listed as donating $500 or more, and two of those seven are noted with donations of more than $1,000.

Under expenditures, Croy lists purchases of campaign materials such as signs, shirts, hats, and window decals, as well as advertising, facility rental, and food expenses for a campaign event.

Croy reported having an on-hand balance of $656.91 as of March 31.

Coming in at second place in campaign spending is incumbent Dexter Lunceford, who reported expenditures of $3,466.89.

In his report, Lunceford notes receiving a total of $4,200 in campaign contributions. Of that amount, $1,200 is listed as “unitemized contributions” with the remaining $3,000 listed as itemized contributions. The itemized contributions are listed as donations of $750 each from four separate donors. Lunceford’s report does not indicate any amount of self-contributed funds for his election bid.

Under expenditures, Lunceford lists purchases of campaign materials such as signs, shirts, and cards, as well as advertising purchases.

Lunceford reported having an on-hand balance of $733.01 as of March 31.

Independent candidate Stevenson came in third place in campaign spending, who reported expenditures of $924.17. His paperwork notes his campaign is for the August General Election and not the May Primary Election since he is not seeking a party nomination for his campaign.

In his report, Stevenson reports a total of $1,525 in loan funding for his election. In his financial statement, Stevenson reports the loan source as himself for the purpose of the General Election.

Under expenditures, Stevenson lists purchases of campaign materials, advertising, and software for designing ads. He also lists an expenditure of $35 as “opposition research.”

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.