Byrne, Davis lead fundraising Ala. governor race

Published 11:52 pm Monday, April 19, 2010

MONTGOMERY (AP) — Former two-year college Chancellor Bradley Byrne has been the most successful fundraiser in the Republican race for governor, and U.S. Rep. Artur Davis is tops in the Democratic contest.

Candidates filed campaign finance reports Monday showing how much they had raised since January. The primaries are June 1.

Byrne reported nearly $1.2 million in contributions. That brought his total contributions in the race to nearly $3.8 million. He has listed $2.7 million in expenditures.

Byrne’s contributors included many prominent Alabama business people, including $100,000 from Jimmy Rane of Abbeville, founder Great Southern Wood Preserving Co. and known for his cowboy-style TV commercials for “Yellawood.”

On the Democratic side, Davis reported $424,845 in contributions. That raised his total to $2.6 million. His expenditures are $1.6 million.

He listed many contributions from prominent business people in the Birmingham area, which he represents in Congress, including $15,000 from Edward K. Aldag Jr., $12,500 from Donald Hess and $10,000 from Michael Goodrich.

His Democratic primary opponent, state Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks, listed $204,016 in contributions. That raised his total to $860,204. His expenditures were nearly $1.2 million, but that included paying back a $500,000 loan he made to his campaign.

The Alabama Education Association was his largest contributor in his latest campaign finance report with $40,500.

Among Republicans, Greenville business Tim James was second in fundraising with $525,186 in contributions since January. That raised his total contributions to nearly $1.9 million. He has reported spending nearly $3 million, but that has been possible because of loans he and others made to his campaign.

James’ contributions included $25,000 from Alex Baker of Birmingham and $10,000 each from Linda Smith of Huntsville, William P. Ainsworth of Boaz and Dream Ranch of Guntersville.

Former Republican Chief Justice Roy Moore raised $134,484 in his latest report. That brought his total contributions to $514,364 and his total expenditures to $424,490. Moore’s money came primarily from small donors.

State Rep. Robert Bentley, R-Tuscaloosa, reported receiving $72,038 in contributions since January. Most of them were in amounts below $1,000 from friends in the Tuscaloosa area.

Those donations raised his total contributions to $216,105. His total expenditures far exceed his contributions at $898,975, but he has been able to do that through personal loans to his campaign.

Former state official Bill Johnson reported $102,848 in contributions — mostly from political action committees. Johnson’s contributions throughout his GOP campaign total $183,253 and his expenditures are $159,474.

Two GOP candidates, Charles Taylor of Daphne and James Potts of Wilton, did not report any contributions or expenditures.