MORGANTOWN – The bigger campaign fund doesn’t always win the election, as one Monongalia County House of Delegates primary race shows.
But in the four Mon County House races featuring incumbents, the Democrats finished the primary season and headed toward the November general election with bigger – usually far bigger – campaign funds than their GOP challengers.
In the two open races, the Republicans had the bigger accounts.
The figures come from the candidates’ Second Quarter reports, covering April 25 – two weeks before the May 10 primary – to June 30
Neither incumbent 51st District Republican Joe Statler nor Democrat challenger Ben Swanson had a primary opponent.
Statler opened the reporting period with $2,240 and received $4,200 from several individuals and six PACs. He spent $442.45, leaving a balance of $6,007.55. His spending for the election year-to-date was also $442.45.
Swanson opened with $8,591.66. He received $1,000 from a single PAC. He spent $816.52, leaving a balance of $8,775.13. His year-to-date spending was $2,124.87.
Jeffrey Budkey was the sole Democrat in the primary. Three Republicans faced off: Geno Chiarelli, Toni DiChiacchio and Scott Nale.
Chiarelli won a relatively close race, with 444 votes (36.79%); followed by DiChiacchio, 384 votes (31.81%); and Nale, 379 votes (31.4%).
Budkey opened with $1,686.85. He raised $500 from several individuals and one PAC, along with $33.22 in-kind from the progressive West Virginia Can’t Wait. He spent nothing, leaving a balance of $2,186.85. His year-to-date spending was $303.15.
Chiarelli opened with $2,388.27. He received $3,007 from individuals, including $250 from Rep. Alex Mooney. He also brought in $1,850 at a Charleston fundraiser.
He spent $3,237.65, including reimbursing himself $604.25 for travel expenses and mileage. That left a campaign account balance of $4,007.62. His year-to-date spending was $7,177.31.
DiChiacchio opened with $16,293.90. She received $1,100 from two individuals and spent $2,631.55, leaving a balance of $14,762.35. Her year-to-date spending was $16,462.65 and an outstanding loan of $8,000 from herself to her campaign fund remains.
Nale began the period with $2,873.74 and received $3,195.30 from individuals and $1,764 in-kind. He spent $5,287.96, which included $1,547.60 paid to himself for signs and business cards.
He ended with a balance of $6,364.22 and an outstanding loan from himself to his campaign of $3,000. His year-to-date spending was $6,364.22.
Republican Zach LeMaire was unchallenged in the primary.
Democrat incumbent Evan Hansen defeated challenger Matthew Kolb with 1,114 votes (92.29%) to Kolb’s 93 votes (7.71%).
LeMaire began the period with a balance of $200 and received $24.01 from a single donor. He spent $164.30, leaving a balance of $59.71. His year-to-date spending was $264.30.
Hansen opened with $20,215.38 and received $1,726.40 from individuals and two PACs, along with $1,070 at a Morgantown fundraiser. He also received $120 in-kind.
He spent $4,290.54, leaving a balance of $18,721.24. His year-to-date spending was $10,604.50.
Kolb opened with $26.40, raised and spent nothing. He closed his campaign account by disbursing the $26.40 to Hansen’s campaign. His year-to-date spending was $50.
Republican challenger Justin White and Democrat incumbent John Williams were unopposed in the primary.
White opened with $458.05 and received $3,538.70 from two individuals and a PAC. He spent $250, leaving a balance of $3,746.75. His year-to-date spending was $250.
Williams opened with $8,322.54 and received $5,050 from individuals and PACS, along with $6,375 at a Morgantown fundraiser and $450 in-kind. He spent $4,538.20, leaving a balance of $15,209.34. His year-to-date spending was $10,278.19.
Republican challenger Steven Harris and incumbent Democrat Danielle Walker were unopposed in the primary.
Harris opened with $2,635 and received $3,882.05 from individuals and one PAC. He spent $1,078.01, leaving a balance of $5,439.04. His year-to-date spending was $1,190.31.
Walker opened with $46,435.95 and received $8,031 from individuals and PACs.
Two fundraisers appeared to have generated net losses. A May 27 Morgantown meet and greet is reported to have $271.25 in expenses with no money contributions. An event dated June 15 and called Sale of Campaign T-Shirts shows $1,187.70 in expenses with no contributions.
Her spending for the period was $7,669.08, leaving a balance of $46,797.87. Her year-to-date spending was $20,275.45.
Katie Fallon is the sole Democrat in this race.
Three Republicans faced off: former Delegate Cindy Frich, Drew Talbott and Debbie Warner. Warner won with a majority, 559 votes (53.85%). Frich tallied 356 votes (34.3%) and Talbott received 123 votes (11.85%).
Fallon opened with $3,150.50 and received $1,652 from individuals. She spent $572, leaving a balance of $4,230.50. Her year-to-date spending was $822.50.
Warner opened with $16,735.29 and received $7,450 from individuals and two PACs. She spent $8,644.28, leaving a balance of $15,541.01. Her year-to-date spending was $17,913.26.
Frich raised and spent nothing during the entire election cycle and had a zero balance.
Talbott’s report shows him opening the period with a negative balance of $591.19, and raising and spending nothing, leaving the negative balance. It shows year-to-date spending of $641.19 and year-to-date contributions of $50.
His prior report, the Primary Report, shows $641.19 paid to himself from his campaign account for advertising and a single $50 contribution from an individual.
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