Big spenders: Expenses in local races top $158K

Published 2:15 am Saturday, February 27, 2016

Local candidates have reported spending more than $158,057 in their efforts to win election this Tues., March 1.

Based on Fair Campaign Practice Act reports filed with the Secretary of State, most of that total has been spent in the race for circuit judge in the 22nd judicial circuit, where Corey Bryan and Ben Bowden are vying for the office being vacated by Judge Ashley McKathan. Bryan and Bowden have reported expenses of $95,552, in reports filed through this past Monday.


Circuit Judge

Bowden, who is the current probate judge, has received $56,152 in cash and in-kind contributions, and has reported spending $52,491. Of that, Bowden has contributed $11,865 to his campaign.

Bryan, who practices law in Andalusia, has received $44,080 in cash and in-kind contributions to his campaign, and has reported spending $43,030. Of that, Bryan has contributed $14,420 to his campaign.

Between the two of them, they have fewer than five contributions from Political Action Committees.


District Attorney

District Attorney Walt Merrell, who is unopposed in his quest for reelection, has reported receiving contributions totaling $19,699 for his campaign.

He reported expenses of $6,223, including his qualifying fees, and for sponsorships of several events.

Candidates for local offices file reports with the probate judge’s office or online. A review of those files on Friday included reports filed in the following races.


County Commission Chairman

• Incumbent Bill Godwin reported $7,475 in expenses.

• Challenger Greg White reported $5,231 in expenses.


County Commission, District 3

• Tony Holmes reported expenses of $6,287.

• Glen Powell reported expenses of $7,154

County Commission, District 4

• Allen Lucas reported expenses of $3,709.

• Kyle Adams reported expenses of $6,796.

• Kylan Lewis reported expenses of $2,857.


Board of Education, Place 3

• Challenger James Barton reported expenses of $4,706.

• Incumbent Lynda Powell reported expenses of $9,366.


Board of Education, Place 4

• Incumbent Jeff Bailey reported expenses of $2,729

• Challenger Mark Glisson reported no expenses.

Candidates are required to begin filing contribution and expense reports once they hit the $1,000 threshold.


Reports are filed monthly, up until the month prior to the election, when reports must be filed weekly.

Probate Judge Ben Bowden said that while state law requires candidates to file FCPA contribution and expense reports, it does not require officials to monitor or check the reports.

However, that will change in 2018, when officials can fine candidates for late reports.