Top spenders get most votes

Published 12:05 am Saturday, March 17, 2012

The top vote-getter in Covington County’s Republican Primary also spent the most money on his campaign, campaign finance reports show.

In fact, in seven of the eight local races on Tuesday’s ballot, the candidate who received the most votes also outspent his opponents.

Probate Judge Ben Bowden outspent not only his challenger, Lee Enzor, but also all others on Tuesday’s ballot. Bowden spent $28,342 on his campaign, and won by a larger margin than anyone else seeking office. Enzor reported $9,077 in campaign expenses.

Similarly, Amy Jones, who was elected circuit clerk, spent twice as much as challenger Stephanie Cotton. Jones spent $20,901 on the election, while Cotton spent $10,066.

The trend held in most of the commission races and the race for commission chairman.

Kylan Lewis outspent all others seeking a seat on the commission. The $5,962 spent earned him a spot in the runoff against Bill Godwin, who spent less than half as much, $2,587, and got only 240 fewer boats. Current Chairman Lynn Sasser, who was only 100 votes behind Godwin, only spent $1,683.

In District 1, Ken Northey spent $3,938, to oust incumbent David Ellis, who spent $3,549.

District 2 was the only race in which the top spender didn’t at least make the runoff. Tony Wells, who ran third in the race, spent $5,460, the third highest amount spent on a commission race. Barton, who led the race, spent $4,974, and faces Randall McCart in the runoff on April 24. McCart spent $4,043.

In District 3, incumbent Harold Elmore spent $4,465. Challenger Joe Bush spent only $2,271.

In District 4, incument Carl Turman spent $5,831 to defeat challenger Allen Lucas, who spent $4,298.

In the race for school board, Sonny Thomasson spent $1,604 to defeat incumbent John Clark, who spent $854.

Collectively, the candidates spent $123,169 on their campaigns, or an average of $1.98 per vote received.


Editor’s note: The amounts reported reflect campaign finance reports filed by 2 p.m. yesterday, Fri., March 16. Bowden, Enzor, Godwin, Ellis, Northey, and McCart had not yet filed this week’s reports at that time.