Contributors have lined up in support of their favorite candidate for judge, donating thousands of dollars to what is becoming an increasingly expensive campaign.
General Sessions candidate Jean Brock leads the field in spending as early voting continues for the Aug. 2 election.
The winner of the judge’s race between Brock, Pirtle, Susan Marttala and interim General Sessions/ Juvenile Judge Bill Locke will fill the unexpired term of Larry Ross, who retired in January. There will be another election in two years, the winner there to get a full eight-year term.
With the stakes being a job which pays $145,000 a year, candidates have upped their ante. Brock leads them all, spending $14,787 based on the most recent reports filed last week. Her main expenditure has been signs as she reported spending around $5,000 on signs since March.
While leading in spending, Brock has not accepted the same contributions as her competitors as she reported just three donors since March. The contributors, John Gregory Brock, Hubert Boyd and Billy G. Boyd, each gave her campaign $500. The lion’s share of her funding is coming from her own pocket and $17,000 in personal loans she has taken out to help fund her campaign.
The man she is trying to unseat, Judge Bill Locke who was appointed by the Warren County Commission, has raised around $4,000 from contributions since March. Topping his financial supporters are Nathan and Marsha Scott of Hidden Valley Nursery, who gave him $1,000.
Donna Goolsby is a $500 contributor, as is Thomas Gallager. Locke’s father, Howard Locke, gave $400 and fellow attorney Thomas Bratcher donated $250. Locke has a number of $200 contributors, including Jimmy Crim, Jimmy Broom, Stanley Hillis, Gary Prater, Barry Barnes and County Executive John Pelham. Ryan Moore added $100 to the pot. In all, Locke reported raising $4,150 since March.
To date, Locke has spent $8,037 making him the lowest spending of the four candidates going into early voting.
While not having as many contributors, Susan Marttala makes up for numbers with size of donations. Marttala has three $1,250 contributions, including one from her father Charles Nunley, one from the senior member of the law office where she works, Michael Galligan, and one from Galligan’s wife, Rhonda Galligan.
Marttala’s fellow law partner John Partin gave her $250, as did former sheriff Kenny Taylor and her mother, former alderman Patricia Nunley. Trevor Galligan, Jim Pierce and Neil Schultz all added $100 to the fund bringing her total raised since March to $4,800.
Marttala places second in the spending category reporting $8,623 in spending as of last week.
Not to be outdone, Mary Little Pirtle is right on Marttala’s heels in spending, reporting $8,110 in expenditures as of last week.
Like Marttala, she has nine contributors, other than herself. At the top of her contributor list is Windell Little, who gave $1,300. Michael Niederhauser joined the gold club with a $1,000 contribution. Husband Tim Pirtle gave $761, while she had four $500 contributors including Larry Brown, Jeff Ridner, Lyle Cheatham and Brenda Riddle. Becky Cantrell and David Simpson added $200. She leads all candidates in fundraising with $5,271 since March.
While candidates raised in excess of $15,000 in the last quarter alone, the judicial candidates’ main campaign contributors are themselves, with each adding amounts of their own money to their campaign war chests.