On the Halloween before an election, it would be fun to see what treats some statewide campaigns have received and what tricks are being pulled.

Insurance Commissioner

A cursory look shows pretty ordinary numbers. Mike Chaney has raised $450K during this reporting period. Gary Anderson has raised about $250K.

However, when we look into the numbers, it gets more interesting. Chaney received about $200K of that $450K from the State GOP. Anderson, on the other hand, has loaned his campaign about $200K. I guess the first question is who guaranteed that loan. If Anderson has the cash himself, he would have just put it in. We have seen this sort of transaction in prior races. Amy Tuck had campaign loans that were later found out to be guaranteed by Dickie Scruggs, and it caused her a lot of grief after she got into office. With all of the money that Scruggs put in play in the primary, it is hard to imagine that he would just let fate determine the winner of this race. Anderson has not been pressed on that issue in the media yet, but there is still a week to go.

Anderson also very quietly (on page 30 of his report) refunded monies from Douglass Horne, an insurance company executive and executive with the Tennessee Democratic Party. Chaney uncovered the contribution and promptly hammered Anderson on accepting the contribution. Anderson then conveniently refunded the contribution so as not to derail his entire pitch.

Lt. Governor

Again, the aggregate numbers in this race are not very surprising. Bryant has raised $611K this period (for a total of $2.4 million). The State GOP has put in about $300K this year into Bryant’s campaign. Franks has raised $178K this period (for a total of $714K). The only thing that stood out in Franks’ report is the relatively small amount of money the Democratic Lt. Governors Association has put in. Normally, those organizations put real money to work in races they view as competitive. Franks only reports $45K from them this year, which is a pretty small number, and a seeming indication of their assessment of the viability of his candidacy.

Attorney General

Jim Hood has raised $592K this period compared to Al Hopkins’ $355K.

Hood’s standouts on his finance reports are the $400K, from the Democratic Attorneys General Asssociation, which would be totally expected. Hopkins’ attacks on Hood seem to be borne out on Hood’s finance reports with there being several large contributions from out of state law firms. Hopkins has received a pretty staggering $612K from the State Republican Party (year to date). That is a lot of money invested in this race.


Again, no huge surprises in this one. Eaves is reporting $2.2M for the period and about $3.2M for the campaign. Between himself, his father and his law firm, those three look to be at least $2.75M of that $3.2M figure, and almost all of this $2.2 raised in this period came from those three as well.

Haley has raised a paltry $748K this period, which brings his annual fundraising to a staggering $9.1M. Add the $3M+ that he had on hand before the campaign even started, and he will easily cross $12M that his campaign has spent on this race.

Other races

In the Secretary of State, State Auditor, and State Treasurer’s races, the Republican candidates have outraised their Democratic opponents by at least a 10:1 margin.

The disparity isn’t quite that great in the Ag Commissioner’s race. Spell has a relatively large warchest, but Democrats see that as at least in the realm of possibility with a third party candidate.

Final thoughts

As we have seen in the past, Friday is the magic day in campaign finance. The media is real skiddish about making issues of things (anything) in the last 72 hours of a campaign. That is where the accusations really start to fly and money that wants to stay quiet comes in.

We will be watching.