Spending on county commissioners race significantly higher than past years

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SHERIDAN — Candidates filed pre-primary campaign finance reports this week, providing a glimpse into how the campaign budgets of candidates for local offices compare.


County commissioners

Campaign fundraising in this year’s race for Sheridan County commissioner seats has significantly outpaced previous years. In 2016, Dennis Fox ran the most expensive primary campaign, raising a total of $9,672. Tom Ringley recorded $1,292.50 by the primary election that year; Mike Nickel had $100; and Democratic candidate Vicki Taylor reported $102. In 2014, Fox again reported the most contributions, with a $6,729 budget, while incumbents Bob Rolston, Steve Maier and Terry Cram had $500 combined. 

In this year’s primary race, Allan Kinnison has substantially out-spent his opponents for the three available Sheridan County commission seats with a campaign budget of $19,650.82; Kinnison received no contributions as of Tuesday and his budget was entirely self-financed.

Christi Haswell leads county commissioner candidates in money raised from contributions with $5,675; her campaign’s total budget was $7,121.85 as of Tuesday, which was the second highest among commissioner candidates. Haswell contributed $742.25 to her campaign and received $477 in in-kind donations. She also received $267 in anonymous donations, which mostly came from a meet-and-greet event.

Jason Szewc raised $2,750 in contributions and Nick Siddle pulled in $2,225 in campaign contributions in addition to donating $1,821 to his campaign.

Dennis Heizer raised $775 in contributions and put $1,000 of his money into his campaign. Carl Clements’ campaign has a total budget of $1,732.47, which was primarily self-financed except for a $50 contribution.

The campaigns of the remaining county commissioner candidates were self-financed.

Antonio Pickering contributed $4,268 to his campaign; Fox spent $3,850 on his campaign, less than his previous two runs; Jay McGinnis, who is the only Democrat running and will therefore automatically advance past the primary, spent $1,985.91; and former Clearmont mayor Chris Schock put $1,209.77 into his campaign and received $230 in in-kind donations.

Incumbent Cram had the smallest campaign budget with $807.84.


County attorney

Dianna Bennett has outspent opponent Jeremy Kisling in the race for county attorney but Kisling has managed to raise significantly more money from campaign contributions.

Bennett’s total campaign budget was $12,826.26 as of Tuesday and $10,411.26 of that budget was self-funded. The remaining $2,415 came from individual contributions.

Kisling, meanwhile, had a total budget of $9,816.77 and $8,275 of that budget came from individual contributions; the remaining $740.27 was self-funded.

In past years, Sheridan County Attorney Matt Redle routinely ran unopposed for the position, therefore requiring little campaign spending.


County coroner 

Kimberly Kozel has put together a larger budget than incumbent PJ Kane with $7,473.57 heading into Tuesday’s primary election.

Kozel’s campaign has been financed mostly through contributions, however all but $200 of those contributions have come from Lois Ann Walker, who owns the Champion Funeral Home where Kozel is funeral director, and Walker’s husband, Tom. Kozel also contributed $25 to her campaign.

Kane’s campaign budget was self-funded and totaled $5,416.97 as of Tuesday.

Last time the seat was on the ballot, which was in 2014, Kane ran unopposed for the seat.


County treasurer

Misti Dunkelberger has put $4,082.45 into her campaign and Carol Grandahl has spent $3,510.97 on her campaign and raised $100 in contributions.

Chester Burton lags behind his opponents in funding with a self-funded budget of $404.75.


Clerk of
district court

Renee Botten’s campaign has outspent Rachel Livingston Borgialli’s campaign with a total budget of $4,367.76; $4,127.76 of that budget was self-funded and the remaining $240 came from anonymous donations.

Borgialli, however, managed to out-raise her opponent, collecting $1,125 in contributions.

She also contributed $1,915.48 to her own campaign and received $20 in in-kind donations, for a total budget of $3,060.48.

Botten and Borgialli seek to fill the spot that will be left vacant by Nicki Arney’s retirement. Arney ran unopposed in 2014.


City council

Spending on the race for the four open seats on Sheridan’s city council has been significantly lower than other local races.

Clint Beaver had the largest campaign budget with $1,174.66, $974.66 of which was self-funded and the remaining $200 came from an in-kind donation.

Jacob Martin had a total campaign budget of $445.60, all of which was self-funded.

Victoria Hernandez collected the most money from contributions out of the council candidates, with $206; she also put $59.75 into her campaign.

Vixie Miller had a total budget of $50, which came from a contribution.

And incumbents Patrick Henderson and Erin Hanke both had no campaign budget as of Tuesday.

Aaron Linden had not filed a campaign finance report as of Thursday. David Lee, who announced his resignation from the race but has not withdrawn from the ballot yet, also did not file a campaign finance report.

By |Aug. 17, 2018|

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