County Commission candidates raise less, spend less


Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 4:55 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 4:55 p.m.

Alachua County Commission candidates overall brought in fewer dollars and spent less in the latest campaign fundraising period that in the previous one, but they have two more chances to collect before the election.

The next reporting period ends today, while the final one before Nov. 6 ends Oct. 30. The most recent period ran from Sept. 15 to Sept. 28.

In District 1, Republican John Martin raised $6,775 from 44 monetary contributions while Democrat and incumbent County Commissioner Mike Byerly raised $2,640 from 31 contributions, according to Alachua County Supervisor of Elections records.

Martin outraised Byerly but had a larger drop in fundraising from the previous period. Compared to the $15,950 he raised then, he brought in $9,175 less this time around.

While Byerly mostly received contributions of $50 or less, most of Martin’s were for $100 or more.

Martin was the only candidate to spend more money in the latest period than in the last one with expenditures of $3,286.

For District 3, Republican Jean Calderwood and Democrat Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson raised almost the same amount of money through cash and check contributions in the latest reporting period.

Calderwood raised $5,130 from 49 contributions — just under $200 less than Hutchinson, who received $5,310 from 63 contributions.

Hutchinson had the greatest fundraising drop — $13,275 — of all commission candidates this period.

Calderwood also took out $1,000 in loans and Hutchinson received $105.97 in in-kind donations.

Bryan C. “Buck” Buchanan, a write-in candidate, raised and spent nothing.

Hutchinson said he primarily raises campaign money through fundraising parties and online or direct mail requests.

Calderwood received a mix of less than $100 and above $100 contributions, while just more than 35 percent of Hutchinson’s contributions were for $100 or more.

“I’ve got a very broad mixture of people supporting my campaign,” Calderwood said.

She said her campaign crew is pacing its budget based on fundraising numbers but is planning a final reserve for a potential upswing in advertising just before the election.

For District 5, Republican Dean Cheshire raised almost $1,000 less in monetary contributions this fundraising period than in the former, with a reported $6,940 coming from 44 contributions

Half of those contributions were for the maximum $250 limit allowed for county commission races.

Cheshire’s Democratic opponent, state Rep. Charles S. “Chuck” Chestnut IV, raised $4,185 from 45 cash and check contributions, 11 of which were for the $250 maximum. He also took about a $1,000 fundraising decrease in this reporting period.

Chestnut and Cheshire both received in-kind donations of $280 and $250, respectively. Chestnut also took out $250 in loans.

K. Siva Prasad, a no-party-affiliation candidate, raised and spent nothing.

Contact Morgan Watkins at 338-3104 or morgan.watkins@gvillesun.com. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/morganwatkins26.

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