Candidates for bench, W.Va. Senate spend most


MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - A Berkeley County Democrat running for a seat on the 23rd Judicial Circuit bench and the Republican Party's presumptive nominee for the State Senate district seat in Jefferson County appear to have spent more money than anyone else in either county, according to the latest campaign finance reports available.

As of May 1, Martinsburg attorney Michael D. Lorensen had spent $32,563 on his bid to be the next Division 2 circuit judge, according to his preprimary report filed with Secretary of State Betty Ireland's office.

The Citizens for Bob Adams Committee reported spending $22,027 as of May 2, which was the deadline to file the information with the state before the May 13 election. Adams became the Republican's presumptive nominee for the State Senate seat after Jefferson County commissioner Rusty Morgan withdrew from the race because of health concerns.

Adams and Lorensen have reported lending their campaigns significant amounts of money - $18,029 for Lorensen and $25,000 for Adams. Lorensen reported $15,806 in campaign contributions and Adams said he received $2,025 in contributions, according to his report.


Michael S. Santa Barbara, Lorensen's opponent in the race to be decided by voters in Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties, has reported lending himself $8,317 and indicated he received no contributions. Though unopposed in the primary election, Judge Gina M. Groh reported raising $11,327.

Like Adams, former Democratic State Sen. Herb Snyder is running unopposed in the primary election for the 16th district seat, but still reported spending $10,329. That amount was a few hundred dollars less than the total contributions he had received at the time the report was filed May 2.

Among Berkeley County candidates, Democrat Kenny Lemaster, one of four people vying to be the party's nominee for sheriff, topped every other office seeker in campaign spending and contributions received, according to his report.

As of April 28, Lemaster reported spending $13,171 and collecting $14,776 in contributions. Richard L. Steerman Sr., another Democratic candidate for county sheriff reported $8,445 in spending and receipt of $10,250 in campaign contributions. Remaining Democratic Sheriff candidates, Charles C. "Chip" O'Roke and Curtis Keller, both reported spending or receiving less than $2,500.

Following Lemaster and Steerman's leading tallies was Democrat County Commission candidate Anthony J. "Tony" Petrucci, who received $9,574. Petrucci spent $3,798 as of April 29. His primary election opponent, Richard N. Talbott, reported $2,219 in contributions and $1,528 in campaign spending as of May 2.

Among Jefferson County candidates, Democrat Edward L. Burns reported $15,814 in campaign debt for his county commission race and no contributions or personal loans. Burns' leading tally was followed by $10,621 in spending by Democratic prosecuting attorney candidate Ralph Lorenzetti and $9,160 by Tiffany E. Lawrence in her bid for the 58th district seat in the state House of Delegates. Ruth McQuade, Lorenzetti's primary election opponent spent $4,831 by May 2. And Lawrence's primary opponent, Richard "Dick" Watson spent even less - $2,112 - and reported $3,185 in contributions.

Lawrence led all Jefferson County candidates in contributions, receiving $16,586, according to her preprimary report. Coming in second and third were Democrat county commission candidates Kit McGinnis ($13,989) and Carolyn (Lyn) Widmyer ($11, 003). Both McGinnis and Widmyer reported spending less than half of what they received. Commission candidate R. Gregory Lance said in his report that he received $9,845 in contributions and spent $4,068.

Among Jefferson County sheriff candidates in the Democratic primary, Robert Shirley's $7,521 in contributions and expenditures of all but about $1,400 of that amount led all other candidates, according to reports filed with Jefferson County Clerk Jennifer Maghan's office.

ยท More information about campaign finance reports is available at, or county voters registration offices.

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