While full reports won’t be out until later this summer, we decided to delve into the pre-election SC ethics filings for several of the candidates who ran for election in the June primary. Some of these races are now in the runoff on June 28, and the numbers have likely fluctuated to some extent. Read the rest with the caution, but we think you will find the numbers illuminating.
State Senate Races
The biggest spender (and fundraiser) in this election was Spartanburg attorney John B. White, who raised a whopping $288,027.82 for his ultimately failed campaign against incumbent Tom Corbin in State Senate 5. Corbin, for the record, raised $128,778.59 in his campaign. As of his pre-election filing, White had spent $221,879.89 including dropping more than $100,000 on consultants’ fees. That makes the $169,288 raised and $150,059.28 spent by Williams Timmons in District 6 seems minuscule in comparison. At least Timmons is in the runoff against incumbent Mike Fair, who raised $37,043.66, but spent $51,519.31 in the election. Timmons almost won the thing outright the first time. Way over in District 7, Karl Allen spent $52,033.540 to beat Lillian Brock Flemming, who spent $6,031.77 on the campaign. People accuse Timmons of trying to buy a seat by outspending Fair three-to-one. Fant outspent Flemming almost nine-to-one.
State House Races
The only really fun race was in District 22 where Jason Elliott upset Wendy Nanney. Elliott raised $45,832.12 and spent $26,462.78 to beat Nanney, who raised $19,840.91 and spent $12,281.31. It will be interesting to see the final numbers because Nanney and her supporters dropped at least five mailers in the last few days of the campaign.
Let’s start in District 25 where Lottie Gibson, who has not been to a council meeting in more than six months, made it into the runoff without raising or spending a single cent, according to her filings. The man she is in the runoff with, Ennis Fant, still has not done the pre-election filing. Ladies and gentlemen, that is Greenville politics.
District 18 was fairly evenly matched in the fundraising category. Mike Barnes raised $5,600.08 and spent $5,251.33 to beat incumbent Jim Baldwin, who raised $5130.23 and spent $4514.73. In the race in District 21, Rick Roberts raised $56, 139.00 and spent $28,141,56 to finish with 40 percent of the vote. His opponent in the runoff, Stacy Kuper raised $28,782 and spent $23,817.28. That snared her 36 percent.