By Elisabeth Strillacci & Ben Stansell
SALISBURY – Finance reports released last week show how candidates in competitive local races raised funds and spent money in the months leading up to Tuesday’s primary election.
The 2022 first quarter reports include all campaign finance activity among candidates from Jan. 1 to April 30. Reports were due on May 10. Second quarter reports covering May 1 through June 30 are due on July 12.
While a first quarter finance report was available for incumbent District Attorney Brandy Cook, the same report for challenger Paxton Butler was not listed on the North Carolina Board of Elections website as of deadline. Neither was a mid-year semiannual or year-end semi-annual report for 2021. Butler could not be reached for comment by deadline. The Post was unable to reach the state Board of Elections.
Cook’s campaign began January with $ 35,111 cash on hand and ended with $ 34,534, spending $ 9,389 during the period. In total, Cook has raised $ 44,196. Her campaign reports that $ 43,820 came in the form of individual contributions. Cook’s first quarter report indicates she donated $ 7,519 to her campaign this period.
Notable contributions to Cook’s campaign in the first quarter of 2022 include $ 3,145 from Salisbury attorney Andrea Bryant Davis; $ 1,000 from Arnold Chamberlain; $ 250 from Glenn Ketner; $ 1,000 from James Owen of College Barbecue; $ 550 from Mona Lisa Wallace of Wallace & Graham law firm; and $ 500 each from Duane Miller and Tim Hawkins, attorneys at the Koontz, Hawkins & Miller law firm in Concord.
Tommie Cato, a former highway patrol officer and school resource officer, led all sheriff candidates in total fundraising at the end of the quarter with $ 73,921. While $ 27,622 came in the form of individual contributions, $ 43,000 was in loans. Cato entered the year with $ 8,108 cash on hand and ended April with $ 1,131, spending $ 30,692 during the period.
Mike Caskey, a current Rowan County commissioner, started the quarter with $ 247 on hand and finished with $ 4,573 – the most of any candidate for sheriff. Caskey spent $ 5,817 during the first quarter of 2022. Caskey has raised $ 38,136 in total, including $ 20,495 in contributions from individuals.
Travis Allen, a Rowan County Sheriff’s detective, entered the period with $ 3,365 cash on hand and finished with $ 774, spending $ 20,075 during the period. In total, he raised $ 57,891, including $ 44,347 in contributions from individuals. Michael Ivester donated $ 4,000 to Allen’s campaign and Steve Safrit, co-owner of The Forum gym, donated $ 200. James Sides donated $ 100 and Ashley Thompson gave $ 1,750.
Greg Hannold, Rowan County Detention Center supervisor, started the quarter with $ 7,239 and ended with $ 3,330, spending $ 9,284 during the period. In total, he brought in $ 38,392, including $ 28,244 in contributions from individuals.
Brad Potts, a retired state trooper and school resource officer, reports starting January with $ 6,937 cash on hand. After expenses, he reports having finished with $ 1,089. In total, he raised $ 20,475, with $ 18,189 of that coming from individual contributions.
Jack Eller, a businessman, reports starting the quarter with $ 537 cash on hand and ending with the same amount, spending practically nothing. Eller’s campaign has been financed entirely through $ 5,900 in loan proceeds.
On the Democratic side, retired state trooper Carlton Killian started the quarter with $ 2,125 cash on hand and ended with $ 3,236. In total, Killian has raised $ 7,542. He received $ 3,445 from individual contributors since January and has brought in $ 5,445 from individual contributions overall. Simon Brown started the period with $ 268 in cash on hand and ended with $ 45. His campaign reports indicated he’s raised $ 600
Reports detailing individual contributions were not available for all sheriff candidates for the first quarter of 2022.
Board of Commissioners
In the Rowan County Commissioners race, Chair Greg Edds finished the first quarter with the lead both in overall fundraising and cash on hand. Edds began January with $ 1,419 in cash on hand and ended the period with $ 19,023. In total, he raised $ 24,130. Almost all of Edds’ contributions have come from individuals, with notable donations of $ 5,600 from Bill Graham of Wallace & Graham law firm; $ 1,000 from James Davis of Davis & Davis law firm; $ 100 from Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander and $ 200 from Victor Wallace of Wallace Realty.
Following Edds in total money raised is challenger Angie Spillman, whose campaign reported having taken in $ 21,376 over the campaign cycle, including $ 15,318 in individual contributions. Spillman entered January with $ 221 in cash on hand and ended with $ 52. One of Spillman’s largest campaign contributors has been Giovanni Vincent Spillman, who has given $ 4,236 in total during the campaign. Spillman’s campaign also reports $ 4,076 in loan proceeds.
Jim Greene, current vice chair of the board, started the quarter with $ 2,698 on hand and finished with $ 7,436. In total, he raised $ 7,278. Notable contributions to his campaign over the last period include $ 500 from F&M Bank President Steve Fisher and $ 5,600 from Bill Graham of Wallace & Graham law firm.
Commissioner Judy Klusman’s campaign began January with $ 240 in cash on hand and finished with $ 8,841, boosted by $ 8,600 of individual contributions. Klusman received notable contributions of $ 1,000 from Victor Wallace of Wallace Realty, $ 500 from Steve Fisher, president of F&M Bank, and $ 500 from former Spencer Town Manager David Treme. Bill Graham of Wallace & Graham donated $ 5,600 to Klusman’s campaign, the same amount he donated to Edds’ and Greene’s campaigns.
Mike Julian entered the period with $ 507 cash on hand and finished with $ 2,548. In total, Julian has raised $ 3,098. One notable contributor to Julian’s campaign is current Rowan County commissioner Craig Pierce, who gave $ 500.
On the Democratic side, Alisha Byrd-Clark started the period with $ 20 and ending with $ 1,164. Clark has raised $ 2,098 in total thus far, including $ 1,520 from individual contributors. Notable contributions to her campaign include $ 250 from Rowan County Democratic Party Chair Geoffrey Hoy and $ 100 from Pete Prunkl. Post filed a certification of threshold, which states he does not intend to raise or spend more than $ 1,000 total on his campaign and therefore does not need to report it. Since there are three commissioners seats on the November ballot and only two Democrats running, Byrd-Clark and Post will move on to the general election.
Superior Court judge
In the race between incumbent Tim Gould and challenger Michael Adkins, Gould began January with a balance of $ 240. Over the quarter, he received $ 13,989 in individual contributions and ended the quarter with $ 2,079. Most notable among those contributions are a $ 5,000 donation from James Davis of the law firm Davis & Davis, a $ 600 donation from attorney Todd Paris and a $ 1,000 contribution from attorney Ryan Stowe. Adkins reports that he began and ended the quarter with a zero balance. All contributions, totaling $ 11,313, were in-kind contributions from the candidate himself.
District Court judges
Newcomers Cynthia Dry and Lauren Hoben are vying to fill Seat 3 of retiring Judge Charlie Brown. Both women have raised more than $ 20,000 this quarter, with Hoben raising slightly more funds. Hoben began the period with $ 3,040, and over the quarter has received $ 21,149 in contributions, $ 630 of which are aggregated or donations of $ 50 or less. She ended the term with $ 9,429 available. In addition to numerous small contributions, she was boosted from several sizable individual donations, including $ 2,500 from Nicole Holmes Matangira, $ 2,000 from John Andrew Basinger and $ 1,000 each from Sandra Mullins, Millie Washburn, Charles Wicker and Helen Wicker.
Dry began the period with $ 2,738, and reports total contributions of $ 20,169. She ended the quarter with a balance of $ 1,417. Notable contributions include $ 1,150 from James Owen Jr. and $ 500 from RDBeatrice.
Kevin Eddinger is fighting to hold on to Seat No. 1 against challenger Christopher Sease. Eddinger reports starting the period with a zero balance, and reports $ 5,995 in individual donations and a $ 2,000 loan to his campaign, leaving an ending balance of $ 3,232. He received a single donation of $ 5,000 from Michael Augusta.
Meanwhile, Sease began the quarter with a cash balance of $ 7,025, then added $ 5,700 in individual contributions. After expenses, he reports a cash balance of $ 314. Sease received $ 2,000 from attorney John Basinger and $ 600 from attorney Todd Paris.
Beth Dixon, unopposed for Seat 2, has no reports listed. James Randolph, unopposed for Seat 4, reports an beginning balance of $ 491, a $ 10 donation from himself to keep the account open and an ending balance of $ 501.
Clerk of court
In the two-candidate race for Clerk of Superior Court, Rebecca Saleeby led Todd Wyrick in total fundraising, but Wyrick ended the quarter with slightly more cash on hand.
Saleeby entered the first quarter of 2022 with $ 3,682 cash on hand and ended with $ 1,507. In total, she’s raised $ 27,118, all from individual contributions. Notable contributions to Saleeby’s campaign include $ 200 from Rep. Julia Howard and $ 564 from Rep. Harry Warren, including $ 84 worth of materials for signs.
Wyrick entered the quarter with $ 1,993 and ended the quarter with $ 1,848. In total, he raised $ 14,565. That includes $ 5,475 in contributions from individuals, $ 4,590 in aggregate contributions ($ 50 or less per contribution) and $ 4,500 in loans. Wyrick has received $ 600 from Pierce during the campaign.
House District 83
Kevin Crutchfield started and finished the first quarter of 2022 with drastically more cash on hand than fellow Republican competitors Grayson Haff and Brad Jenkins. Crutchfield’s campaign reports having $ 25,000 on hand at the start of the period, which his financial report indicates began on March 9 as opposed to Jan. 1. Crutchfield filed to run after the district maps were redrawn. District 83 will encompass southwestern Rowan and eastern Cabarrus counties. From then until April 30, Crutchfield’s campaign reported spending $ 19,438. He finished the period with $ 44,814 in cash on hand. In total, Crutchfield has raised $ 64,392.
Haff reports starting the year with $ 175 cash on hand and finishing with $ 449. Haff spent $ 8,555 this period, according to the report. In total, he raised $ 10,004. Notable contributions to Haff’s campaign include $ 40 from Harry J. Warren for NC House, $ 100 from Sen. Carl Ford, $ 105 from the Committee to Elect Angie Spillman and $ 250 from Sease.
Jenkins started the year with $ 965 cash on hand and ended with $ 1,368. In total, he raised $ 2,895.