BRIAN PERRY/Candidates raise $2.3 million

The first campaign finance reports of the 2015 election were filed last week covering all funds raised and spent from the beginning of the year through the end of April. The reports give an early indication of the seriousness of a campaign and according to the Secretary of State are mandatory for all candidates (statewide, district wide, legislative and county) even if no money is raised or spent. County candidates file their reports with their local circuit clerk; all others file with the Secretary of State who makes them available online for anyone to review.

Governor Phil Bryant raised $485,635 and increased his cash-on-hand to nearly $2.7 million. His Republican primary opponent, Mitch Young, reported no money raised; $515 spent and $100 cash-on-hand. One Democratic candidate and a Reform Party candidate running for governor did not file reports. A second Democratic candidate reported raising, spending and having no money. But the third Democrat, trial lawyer Vicki Slater, reported raising $104,419 with $62,507 cash-on-hand. Slater’s report was heavy with receipts from lawyers: attorney contributions accounted for 83 percent of her fundraising.

Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves raised $276,101. He now posts over $2.4 million cash-on-hand. His Republican primary opponent, Libertarian opponent, Reform opponent and one of his Democratic opponents all failed to file reports. Democrat Tim Johnson, a former state senator and Elvis impersonator, reported raising $41,525 with $27,551 cash-on-hand. Of that, $25,000 was loan Johnson made to his campaign.

Madison County Journal