PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Nov. 5, 2008) — Campaigns can be expensive, but one race in Pulaski County has cost more than all others combined.
The hotly-contested race for sheriff featured two Republicans and two Democrats, and the four candidates combined have raised or spent more than $27,000 as of the last campaign filing date eight days before the Nov. 4 election.
However, those expenses are far from evenly distributed. Reports filed with County Clerk Diana Linnenbringer show that Democratic candidate J.T. Roberts of Waynesville who held the sheriff’s seat for 12 years until he was defeated four years ago by current Republican Sheriff J.B. King of Waynesville, raised $12,200, or nearly half of that total. He dramatically outspent his Democratic primary opponent, Bill Anderson who lives north of St. Robert, who spent more than $7,700 in his unsuccessful August primary race, as well as King, who as of Oct. 24 had raised $5,794 combined for the primary and general elections, and spent $3,605.
The defeated Republican candidate, Terry Roberson of Devil’s Elbow, lagged far behind with slightly more than $1,000 raised in the primary election.
King, Roberson and Anderson show similar funding patterns in their campaign — most of their funds came from small contributions and from their own funds.
While Roberts also received numerous small contributions, he also has a major donor who coordinate many other donations from his businesses and family members
That donor is Jon Rand, owner of the multi-state Discount Smoke Shop chain of cigarette stores, who also owns a farm between Dixon and St. Robert.
Contributions by Rand and his family or companies include five contributions totaling $2,600 on April 5, May 9, June 1 and July 14 from Discount Smoke Shop Missouri, GPA Inc., Discount Smoke Shop Illinois, Consolidated Midwest Properties, Rudy’s Discount Smoke Shop, Rand Land Development, Thrifty Smoke Shop, and Crismon Land Development, all of which share a single address in St. Louis, $325 from Rand Aviation on June 1, and $325 each on June 1 from Jon Rand and Sharie A. Keil, who reported the same address in Dixon. The same pattern repeated itself in the general election with a total of $1,625 in contributions on Oct. 19 from Rand Aviation, Rudy’s Discount Smoke Shop, Thrifty Smoke Shop, Discount Smoke Shop Missouri, and Rand Land and Development; a total of $1,300 in contributions on Oct. 15 from GPA Inc, Consolidated Midwest Properties, Discount Smoke Shop Illinois, and Crismon Land Development; and $325 each on Oct. 15 from Jon Rand, Christopher Rand and Sharie Keil, all of whom report a single address in Dixon.
As with the other candidates, Roberts also contributed substantial amounts of his own money. He loaned his campaign $500 on July 3, $1,000 on Aug. 22, and $500 on Sept. 29. King loaned his own campaign $1,600 on May 6 and $1,000 on Aug. 27.
No other races came close to costing the same amount of money. Candidates who spend minimal amounts of money aren’t required to file campaign finance reports, and no candidate running for the Pulaski County 911 Board chairmanship or the Pulaski County surveyor post filed a finance report.
The Western District race for Pulaski County Commission features one candidate, retired banker Wayne Anderson, a Richland Democrat, who reported contributions of more than $8,700 — mostly his own money — compared to a field of three Republicans who didn’t raise enough money to be file a campaign finance report. Anderson’s two Democratic opponents, Ted Helms and Bill Laughlin, reported combined fundraising of about a third of Anderson’s total. The successful Republican candidate, Ricky Zweerink of Crocker, has not filed a campaign finance report.
The County Assessor’s race features incumbent Democrat Roger Harrison of Laquey who reports raising and spending only about $300 by Oct. 24; he’s being challenged by Republican Ed Warden of Crocker who had raised $1,950 as of Oct. 27 and spent most of that amount.
The Eastern District race for County Commission is more closely matched. Republican incumbent Bill Farnham’s contributions as of Oct. 23 were $1,850 and his Democratic challenger, Earl Arnold, raised $2,850 as of Oct. 27. Arnold’s fundraising includes a primary race against Bobby Miller who raised more than $1,400 in his unsuccessful primary race.