01/24/09 — Money totals in from 2008 election races

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Money totals in from 2008 election races

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on January 24, 2009 11:46 PM

Fourth-quarter campaign finance reports for those candidates who ran in November's elections were released earlier this month, and among those who won state office, almost all agreed that spending was higher than expected in 2008.

In the state Senate District 5 race, which featured Democrat Don Davis and Republican Louis Pate, a total of $770,272 was raised -- $459,951 by Davis, who won, and $310,321 by Pate.

Of that total, $689,475 was spent -- $449,181 by Davis and $240,294 by Pate.

"The amount we ended up taking in was more than I originally projected," Davis said. "We ran a very efficient campaign and obviously an effective one."

And while he had three counties to campaign across and to make his name known in, he is concerned that the cost of doing so was a bit high.

"One concern I have is the amount it takes to run these races. We need to look at ways to make this less expensive," he said.

And similar concerns were raised by other candidates, too.

In the state House District 11 race, which featured Dem-ocrat Ronnie Griffin and Republican Efton Sager, a total of $147,058 was raised -- $109,674 by Griffin and $37,384 by Sager, who won.

Of those amounts, $146,408 was spent -- $111,377 by Griffin and $35,031 by Sager.

"I was surprised. This all got out of hand," Sager said. "But we had the grassroots support. If we hadn't had that, we probably wouldn't have won because money can buy a race."

He added he was able to keep his expenses down by not responding to many of Griffin's advertisements.

"I just didn't respond. I couldn't afford to," he said.

In the state Senate District 12 race, a total of $602,137 was raised -- $214,609 by Democrat Kay Carroll and $387,528 by Republican David Rouzer, who won.

Spent in the race was a total of $576,895 -- $211,064 by Carroll and $365,831 by Rouzer.

"It was more than I wanted to spend, yes, but if you're committed to something, you've got to be committed 100 percent," Rouzer said.

And in the House District 10 race, a total of $332,130 was raised -- $217,183 by Democrat Van Braxton who won re-election, and $112,428 by Republican Stephen LaRoque.

Spent in the race was a total of $329,180 -- $217,183 by Braxton and $111,997 by LaRoque.

"It was more than we spent last time, and more than I'd hoped to spend," Braxton said. "These campaigns are getting really too expensive, but it was a tough election."