If state financial disclosure reports are to be believed, Democratic 43rd District State Representative nominee Kevin Dunlap is the only candidate to spend a dime on trying to get elected.
As of Thursday afternoon, Republican nominee Robert Dunham of White County had not reported spending any money during his campaign. The same is true of one of his opponents, Edward Leon Buck, also of White County, who had nothing to report as he says he has taken in no money and spent no money on his campaign.
In his campaign disclosure report filed last week for the third quarter, Warren County resident and local teacher Kevin Dunlap reported taking in $9,215 during the quarter and spending $4,143. This comes after the second quarter when he reported bringing in $18,150 and spending $7,395. His biggest donations have come from the Tennessee Education Fund for Children and Public Education in the amount of $6,000. His biggest single expenditure has been with Custom Vinyl Signs for $3,000 in campaign signs.
His Republican opponent has turned in two reports during the duration of the race, those being a pre-primary report in May in which he reported taking in $9,443, and $6,275 during the third-quarter report for a combined $15,718 in raised funds. His single largest contributor this past quarter, just like his Democratic opponent, came from education as Tennessee Parents/ Teachers Putting Students First gave him $3,000.
Dunham’s report of spending no money comes despite color mailers which have been sent to numerous homes in the district. The mailers, however, bear the name of a political action committee which could account for the expenditure not showing up on any of his financial reports. It is also possible that payment for the campaign material has been deferred until the next quarter.
The candidates are running for the seat left vacant with the retirement of longtime state Rep. Charles Curtiss of White County. He resigned Jan. 1 to take a lobbyist spot at the state capitol. The timing came because state rules require a lobbyist to be out of office for at least one year before they can work on Capitol Hill.
Paul Bailey filled the seat this legislative session. He is currently running for Tennessee Senate.