This article originally provided by The Daily Mail

April 10, 2006

Candidates amass $1.9 million

Lawrence Messina
The Associated Press

This year's crop of legislative candidates have so far amassed at least $1.9 million with just under a month before the May 9 primary election, according to their most recent campaign finance reports.

Filings posted by the Secretary of State's office also show that the candidates had spent less than $700,000 of that amount by the March 24 deadline for the reporting period.

A review of the 249 reports posted by the office as of Friday further suggests that a relative handful of House and Senate races are responsible for the bulk of the campaign finance activity.

And with 60 more candidates than the Republicans, the Democrats are dominating the money race. Democrats, who form the majority in both chambers, accounted for 86 percent of the total gathered and 90 percent of the money spent during the reporting period.

The power of incumbency is also a factor. With all but 15 eligible lawmakers seeking re-election, the total amassed so far includes more than $215,000 left over from their previous campaigns.

At least 51 candidates, meanwhile, lent themselves another $351,000. But 52 candidates reported collecting no money or filed waivers indicating they had raised less than $500.

All 100 House seats and half the Senate -- 17 of 34 seats -- are on the ballot this year. The House seats are divided among 58 districts, including 36 single-member districts. But of those 58 districts, only 24 will be contested on the Democrats' primary ballot, and only 11 on the Republicans'. Of the 17 Senate races, 11 will offer Democrats a choice on the primary ballot while only four GOP races will feature a contest.

Of the race of note:


  • In the Senate's 17th district, Sen. Brooks McCabe had gathered $126,305, the most of any legislative candidate. Aided by $45,795 transferred from his 2002 campaign, the Kanawha County Democrat had raised another $80,000. Nearly all that amount came from a Jan. 5 fundraiser at the University of Charleston.


  • Former Democratic Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer had amassed $42,297, the most of any House candidate, in her bid to return to the 44th District.


  • The Senate's 9th District race may prove to be the most expensive this year. Four candidates, two of each party, had raised a total of $157,530.


  • In the 6th Senate District, Democrat Greg "Hootie'' Smith, a Mingo County commissioner, has loaned himself all but $3,500 of the $63,500 he amassed to take on Majority Leader Truman Chafin, D-Mingo. Chafin, meanwhile, had lent his campaign $50,000 of the $82,625 he reported raising.

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