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Swartz is biggest spender in commission race

October 29, 2002|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Washington County Commissioners Vice President Paul L. Swartz has spent nearly $12,000 in his bid for re-election, the most of the 10 candidates running for a seat on the five-member county board.

Swartz, a Democrat, spent $11,654 for fund-raising events, advertising and other campaign costs, according to his campaign finance report.

The reports for all candidates were due Oct. 25, and cover how much candidates raised or spent on their campaigns through Oct. 20.

The general election is Nov. 5.

Swartz also raised the most of all those in the running with $15,755.

Swartz said his treasurer, Donna Hovermill, handled his contributions and expenses.

"I was not aware that we raised that much, nor was I aware that we spent that much," Swartz said.

Swartz said some of his expenses included about $2,500 for billboards and $300 for signs.

Following Swartz in spending was Republican candidate John C. Munson, who spent $10,663. Munson's account totaled $10,670, all of which were loans.

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Munson said he doesn't ask for contributions because he doesn't want to feel like he owes someone a favor.

"It's all mine," Munson said. "I could treat everybody fair that way. It's OK to owe people stuff, but not in politics."

Munson said supporters have approached him with contributions, but he's turned them away. He said one woman became upset that he wouldn't accept her donation until he explained the reason why.

Democrat Jim Brown closely trailed Munson in spending, racking up $10,127 in expenses. The bulk of his expenses came from campaign materials and advertising, according to his finance report.

Brown raised $12,654 for his campaign.

Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook, a Republican, raised $10,950 and spent $5,497. Incumbent Bert L. Iseminger, a Democrat, raised $3,625 and spent $3,379.

Democrat J. Herbert Hardin spent $3,134. He raised $4,704. Republican Doris J. Nipps spent $2,147 of her $4,245 expense account. Republican James F. Kercheval, who raised $2,447, spent $2,177.

Republican Commissioner William J. Wivell spent $1,765. He raised $3,598.

Democrat Constance S. Cramer signed a form at the Washington County Board of Elections over the summer stating she would not spend more than $1,000 on her campaign.

Election Director Dorothy Kaetzel said Monday that if Cramer spent more than $1,000 she would be required to fill out a finance report in November after the election.

Cramer could not be reached for comment Monday.

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