Friday, October 22, 2004
Campaign cash reports filed
Best's loan puts him in lead for Butler County race
By John Kiesewetter
Enquirer staff writer
Independent J. Michael Best has amassed $55,435 for his bid to unseat Butler County Commissioner Michael A. Fox - but most of it came from his own pocket.
Campaign finance reports filed Thursday showed that Best, a Republican running as an independent, has loaned his campaign $51,400 in the three-way race against Fox and Democrat Catherine Stoker of West Chester Township. He has spent $31,091.
Fox, who was denied Republican Party endorsement after blasting county judges last year, has spent $43,392. Stoker, who lost to Commissioner Chuck Furmon four years ago, reported expenditures of $25,949.
Fox's campaign reports showed that $42,790 - more than half of his $83,185 in donations - came from outside Butler County.
The largest contributors to Stoker's $31,436 campaign were the Butler County Democratic Party ($7,400) and the United Food & Commercial Workers Union in Washington ($2,500).
In the other commission races, Republican incumbents Greg Jolivette and Furmon have huge financial edges. Jolivette has spent $36,511 compared to $2,813 by Democrat Rusty Thomas. Furmon has spent $22,854, while Democrat James Lubbers reported no expenses.
Butler County's biggest spender has been Ohio House member Gary Cates, R-West Chester Township. In his race for Ohio's 4th Senate seat, Cates has spent $85,428 - nearly 10 times his opponent, Democrat Melvin A. Smith of Hanover Township.
Chief Deputy Sheriff Rick Jones, seeking to replace retiring Sheriff Harold "Don" Gabbard, reported spending close to $70,000. His opponent, Springboro Police Officer Dale Richter, has spent $27,706 after loaning his committee $39,500.
In Warren County, county commission candidate David G. Young of Deerfield Township has spent $11,321 for an open seat. He faces opposition from write-in candidate Jack Chrisman of Lebanon.
In the race for Warren County Court judge, Jay Revelson of Maineville reported $14,430 in expenditures, and a balance of $4,769. Donald Oda of Springboro spent $4,516 - but he has $19,953 left for the final days of the campaign.
Long-time Sheriff Tom Ariss held a slight spending edge over challenger R. Heath Kilburn, $5,350 to $3,412. But Ariss reported a balance of $14,736, while Kilburn had $2,019 remaining.
Dave Eck contributed to this story. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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