Swartz leads in money raised

August 19, 2002|by TARA REILLY

Washington County Commissioners Vice President Paul L. Swartz has raised the most funds so far among the 21 candidates running for a seat on the five-member Board of County Commissioners, according to campaign finance reports.

Swartz, a Democrat who is nearing the end of his first term on the board, has raised $10,345, his report states.

The contributions have come from about 50 citizens, businesses and organizations, which have sent their payments to the Friends of Paul L. Swartz campaign fund.


Swartz could not be reached for comment Sunday.

The primary election is Sept. 10. The top five Republican and Democrat vote-getters will move on to the general election on Nov. 5.

Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook, a Republican, has raised the second-highest amount of campaign funds at $8,175, followed by Republican newcomer Harold "Hal" Phillips with $7,100.

Phillips said $6,000 of the $7,100 in his campaign account was out-of-pocket. The remaining $1,100 was contributed, but Phillips said he didn't ask for it.

"I candidly don't believe in asking for campaign contributions," Phillips said. "I haven't done any fund raising. I don't plan on doing any fund raising."

"You can say the guy's spending a lot of money, but it's his own," Phillips said.

Phillips said the bulk of his expenses came from mailing information to homes. He said he's sent out 56,000 pamphlets to every household in Washington County and intends to send out additional mailers.

His campaign finance documents state he has spent $3,232 so far on direct mailings. He's also spent $934 in media expenses.

Phillips said he doesn't plan to make signs because he doesn't think they explain the positions of candidates.

"I don't believe in campaign signs stuck out along the road," Phillips said. "They tell you nothing."

Democratic candidate J. Herbert Hardin said he can't spend what the other candidates are spending because he doesn't yet have the funds.

"That's big money," Hardin said.

Hardin started out with a $1,000 loan in his account, according to campaign documents. He said some of the money went toward 150 new campaign signs.

He's also using signs from his Board of Education campaign from almost four years ago but isn't sure whether to purchase bumper stickers and cards.

If he makes it to the general election, he said he'll consider sending out letters, depending on how many contributions he receives.

"Most people don't like to donate before the primary election," Hardin said. "They donate before the general election."

So far, Paul Toothman has $130 in his account, Doris Nipps has $1,995, Commissioner William Wivell has $1,308, Vikki Nelson has $3,500, Stephen C. Palmer has $360, Ron Rowe has $1,550, Jim Brown has $2,550, John C. Munson has $2,000, Jaime Trujillo has $203, Commissioner Bert Iseminger has $125 and James Kercheval has $250.

Six candidates, Constance Cramer, Millard Miller, J. Wallace McClure, Ira P. Kauffman Jr., Kurt Redenbo and William R. Russell Sr., signed forms stating they wouldn't spend more than $1,000 in the election, according to Washington County Board of Elections documents.

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