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Campaign spending in Eastern Panhandle tops $600,000

November 01, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.VA.

Candidates in contested races in Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties have spent more than $600,000 on their 2008 election campaigns, according to financial statements filed last month with county and state officials.

A large chunk of the spending was by Gina M. Groh and Harry P. Waddell, circuit judge candidates for the Division 5 seat on the 23rd Judicial Circuit, a three-county district.

As of Oct. 22, Groh's campaign treasurer reported spending $117,616 in her bid for an eight-year term on the state trial court bench and receiving less than $10,000 in contributions, according to finance statements filed by Secretary of State Betty Ireland's office.

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Waddell's campaign reported that the candidate had spent $111,883 of his own money and received no contributions by Oct. 24, the deadline to file the pre-general report.

The amount spent by the two candidates leading up to Tuesday's vote was surprising to Berkeley County Clerk John W. Small Jr.

"I used to get by with (spending) $1,500," Small said last week. "I don't know what it's going to cost next time."

Groh's reported spending topped the combined total reported last month by Judicial Circuit candidates John Yoder ($38,151) and Michael D. Lorensen ($75,648) in the Division 2 race, records show.

In legislative races, 16th District state Senate candidates Herb Snyder and Bob Adams appeared to be easily outspending the area candidates for House of Delegates, reporting expenditures of $43,316 and $35,045, respectively.

House of Delegates 58th District candidate Tiffany Lawrence's pre-general report was not available last week, but her campaign reported spending $16,247 in September in a race against Republican Tomas Engle, who has reported no spending or contributions other than a fee for filing for office.

In the sprawling nine-county, state Senate 15th District that includes part of Berkeley County and all of Morgan County, candidate Mike Ross reported spending $264,057, including $180,000 of his money. His opponent, incumbent Sen. Clark Barnes, reported spending $33,254 in September and had loaned himself $50,000.

In Jefferson County, county commission candidates Lyn Widmyer ($21,723) and Patricia A. "Patsy" Noland ($19,822) reported the most expenditures.

With $19,407 in expenditures, sheriff candidate Kenneth M. "Kenny" Lemaster Jr. reported spending the most among Berkeley County candidates in contested races.

Lemaster's opponent, Carlton DeHaven, reported $11,423 in spending, according to campaign statements filed with Small's office.

In the eight-candidate field for five state magistrate seats in Berkeley County, Jim Humphrey easily outspent the others, reporting $7,193, records show.

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