Challengers trying to unseat longtime incumbents led the way in campaign spending as early voting began Wednesday.
Sheriff’s hopeful Bobby Edwards leads everyone and outspent his opponent in the Democratic primary more than 2-to-1.
Edwards, a veteran lawman, reported spending $8,091 during the first reporting period that ended last week. His spending included $5,349 for signs. He reported taking in $9,493 during the period.
As is the case for most local candidates, the lion’s share of money taken in is their own money being moved into their campaign war chest. The first reporting period numbers may not include bills that will come due later in the campaign.
The man Edwards is looking to defeat during the May Democratic Primary, incumbent Sheriff Jackie Matheny, spent $3,060 during the same period, $951 of that amount on campaign signs. The two independent candidates who will take on the winner of the Matheny-Edwards primary race in August reported spending no money thus far.
Circuit court clerk candidate Ramsey Womack continued the trend of challengers outspending incumbents as he reported spending $5,613 during the first reporting period. That number far surpassed longtime incumbent Bernie Morris, who reported spending $159. Their race will be over in the Democratic primary.
In the race for county executive, where there is no incumbent running, County Commissioner Herschel Wells led the way in spending as his reported expenditures were $4,427. He slightly outspent Democratic rival, former county executive and current County Commissioner Kenneth Rogers who has spent $3,781 so far.
David Hill was third in spending as he reported $1,584 in expenditures. Write-in Republican candidate Blaine Wilcher spent $453, while independent candidate Johnathan Ferrell has spent $165. The other five candidates reported spending nothing thus far.
In races that won’t be decided until August, Register of Deeds Terry Smith has spent nothing while contender Patsy Paquette spent $1,347 and Charlie King spent $554.
James Bennett, who is running for School Board, has spent $1,346. Road Superintendent Levie Glenn has dropped $459 on his campaign, while his opponent, Bobby Turner, has spent $156.
For General Sessions Judge, incumbent Bill Locke has spent $3,000, while independent challenger Jean Brock has spent $150. The pair faced off during a special election for the seat two years ago with Brock finishing second to Locke.