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57th Democrats outpace Republicans in fund-raising

By Staff | May 10, 2010

On the eve of Tuesday’s West Virginia primary election, Democrats have so far raised over $20,000 more than their Republican opponents in campaign contributions in the race for the 57th District seat in the House of Delegates.

According to recently filed campaign finance reports, the two Democratic primary candidates, incumbent Delegate John Doyle, D-Jefferson, and Lori Rea, have raised, combined, almost $25,000 in cash contributions so far in the campaign. The two Republican candidates, Elliot Simon and Donny Jones, lag behind by a considerable margin, raising just over $4,000 in cash contributions.

Democrats lead Republicans in all aspects of campaign fundraising. Democrats have raised money from 109 different contributors, Republicans can only claim 25. Democrats have raised $16,800 in contributions of $250 or more, Republicans have only $2,600. Democrats also dominate in small money, raising over $7,000 in contributions under $250 to a Republican haul of less than $2,000.

The leading fundraiser is Democratic challenger Lori Rea, who reports receiving over $12,000 in campaign cash contributions. Over 62 percent of Rea’s cash contributions, $8,000, have come from donors of $250 or more. Additionally she has received funds from nine political action committees, including a number of labor unions.

The West Virginia AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education is Rea’s biggest donor, having contributed $1,000 to her campaign. Her second biggest donor is the West Virginia Building and Construction Trades PAC, contributing $1000, along with $700 from the West Virginia Carpenters and Millwrights PAC, $300 from the West Virginia Bankers PAC, another $300 from the West Virginia CAR PAC, an association of auto dealers and the American Federation of Teachers donated $250. Small money donations, under $250, have come from from the West Virginia Oil Marketers and Grocers Association ($150), West Virginia Trucking Association ($100), and the West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants ($50).

One notable local contributor to Rea’s campaign include Shepherdstown Town Councilman and President of the Gateway New Economy Council Howard Mills. Rea works as the executive director of GNEC.

As of April 30, the last day of the pre-primary reporting period, Rea’s campaign had a balance of about $4,000.

Doyle’s campaign reports total cash contributions of over $11,400 so far in the campaign. Doyle has had a slightly better time than Rea in raising money from large contributors. Over 77 percent of Doyle’s cash contributions, $8,800, have come from donors of more than $250, yet he has received less PAC money than Rea.

It’s a four-way tie for biggest contributor to Doyle’s campaign, split between Doyle himself, his brother Thomas Doyle, a Reston, Va., based political consultant named Charles B. Sewell, the West Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association, and Judi Foulk, a friend of Doyle’s living in Alexandria, Va. All five donated $1,000 each.

Other notable contributors to Doyle’s campaign include the Contractor’s Association of West Virginia, which gave $500, the West Virginia Dental Association, which gave $250, the West Virginia Beer Wholesalers PAC, which gave $100.

As of April 30, Doyle’s campaign had a balance of about $3,000.

Republican hopeful Elliot Simon has raised $3,436 in campaign contributions so far in the campaign, $1,370 of which he donated to himself. He claims four contributors of $250 or more – himself, and three individual donors of $250 each. He reports a balance of about $1,500 in campaign funds as of April 30.

His challenger in the primary, Donny Jones has only two contributions totaling $700, one from his mother Mary Jones (she donated $500), with the remainder being donated by a Donna Jerrell. Jones has a balance of about $200.