By Elisabeth Strillacci & Ben Stansell
SALISBURY — Financial reports released last week show how candidates in competitive local races raised funds and spent money in the months leading up to Tuesday’s primary election.
Reports for the first quarter of 2022 include all campaign finance activity among candidates from January 1 through April 30. The reports were due May 10. Second quarter reports covering the period May 1 to June 30 are due July 12.
While a first-quarter financial report was available for outgoing district attorney Brandy Cook, the same report for challenger Paxton Butler was not listed on the North Carolina Board of Elections website as of the deadline. There was also no mid-year or year-end half-year report for 2021. Butler could not be reached for comment before the deadline. The post was unable to reach the State Board of Elections.
Cook’s campaign started in January with $35,111 in cash and ended with $34,534, spending $9,389 during the period. In total, Cook raised $44,196. His campaign reports that $43,820 came in the form of individual contributions. Cook’s first quarter report says she donated $7,519 to her campaign this time.
Notable contributions to Cook’s campaign in the first quarter of 2022 include $3,145 from Salisbury lawyer Andrea Bryant Davis; $1,000 from Arnold Chamberlain; $250 from Glenn Ketner; $1,000 from James Owen of College Barbecue; $550 from Mona Lisa Wallace of the Wallace & Graham law firm; and $500 each from Duane Miller and Tim Hawkins, attorneys at the law firm Koontz, Hawkins & Miller in Concord.
Tommie Cato, a former highway patrol officer and school resource officer, led all sheriff candidates in total fundraising at the end of the quarter with $73,921. While $27,622 came from individual contributions, $43,000 was in the form of loans. Cato started the year with $8,108 in cash and ended April with $1,131, spending $30,692 during the period.
Mike Caskey, a current Rowan County commissioner, started the quarter with $247 in hand and finished with $4,573 — the most of any sheriff’s candidate. Caskey spent $5,817 in the first quarter of 2022. Caskey raised $38,136 in total, including $20,495 in contributions from individuals.
Travis Allen, a Rowan County Sheriff’s Detective, entered the period with $3,365 in cash and finished with $774, spending $20,075 during the period. In total, he raised $57,891, including $44,347 in contributions from individuals. Michael Ivester donated $4,000 to Allen’s campaign and Steve Safrit, co-owner of The Forum gymnasium, donated $200. James Sides donated $100 and Ashley Thompson donated $1,750.
Rowan County Detention Center Supervisor Greg Hannold started the quarter with $7,239 and ended with $3,330, spending $9,284 during the period. In total, it grossed $38,392, including $28,244 in contributions from individuals.
Brad Potts, a retired state trooper and school resource officer, reports from January with $6,937 in cash. After expenses, he reports finishing with $1,089. In total, he raised $20,475, including $18,189 from individual contributions.
Jack Eller, a businessman, reports starting the quarter with $537 in cash and ending with the same amount, spending virtually nothing. Eller’s campaign was funded entirely by the proceeds of a $5,900 loan.
On the Democratic side, retired state trooper Carlton Killian started the quarter with $2,125 in cash and ended with $3,236. In total, Killian raised $7,542. It has received $3,445 from individual contributors since January and earned $5,445 from individual contributions in total. Simon Brown started the period with $268 in cash and ended with $45. His campaign reports said he raised $600
Reports detailing individual contributions were not available for all sheriff candidates for the first quarter of 2022.
Board of Commissioners
In the race for Rowan County commissioners, Chairman Greg Edds finished the first quarter first in both overall fundraising and cash available. Edds started January with $1,419 in cash and ended the period with $19,023. In total, he raised $24,130. Almost all of Edds’ contributions come from private individuals, with notable donations of $5,600 from Bill Graham of the Wallace & Graham law firm; $1,000 from James Davis of the law firm Davis & Davis; $100 from Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander and $200 from Victor Wallace of Wallace Realty.
Following Edds in total funds raised is challenger Angie Spillman, whose campaign said it raised $21,376 during the campaign cycle, including $15,318 in individual contributions. Spillman entered January with $221 in cash and finished with $52. One of Spillman’s biggest campaign contributors was Giovanni Vincent Spillman, who gave a total of $4,236 during the campaign. Spillman’s campaign is also bringing in $4,076 in loan proceeds.
Jim Greene, current vice chairman of the board, started the quarter with $2,698 in hand and ended with $7,436. In total, he raised $7,278. Notable contributions to his campaign over the past period include $500 from F&M Bank Chairman Steve Fisher and $5,600 from Bill Graham of the law firm Wallace & Graham.
Commissioner Judy Klusman’s campaign started in January with $240 in cash and ended with $8,841, boosted by $8,600 in individual contributions. Klusman received notable contributions of $1,000 from Victor Wallace of Wallace Realty, $500 from Steve Fisher, chairman of F&M Bank, and $500 from former Spencer Town manager David Treme. Bill Graham of Wallace & Graham donated $5,600 to Klusman’s campaign, the same amount he gave to Edds and Greene’s campaigns.
Mike Julian entered the period with $507 in cash and finished with $2,548. In total, Julian raised $3,098. A notable contributor to Julian’s campaign is current Rowan County Commissioner Craig Pierce, who donated $500.
On the Democratic side, Alisha Byrd-Clark started the period with $20 and ended with $1,164. Clark has raised $2,098 in total so far, including $1,520 from individual contributors. Notable contributions to his campaign include $250 from Rowan County Democratic Party Chairman Geoffrey Hoy and $100 from Pete Prunkl. Post has filed a threshold certification, which indicates that he does not intend to raise or spend more than $1,000 in total for his campaign and therefore does not need to report it. Since there are three commissioner seats on the November ballot and only two Democrats running, Byrd-Clark and Post will advance to the general election.
superior court judge
In the race between incumbent Tim Gould and challenger Michael Adkins, Gould started January with a balance of $240. During the quarter, he received $13,989 in individual contributions and ended the quarter with $2,079. Notable among these contributions are a $5,000 donation from James Davis of the law firm Davis & Davis, a $600 donation from attorney Todd Paris, and a $1,000 contribution from attorney Ryan Stowe. . Adkins reports that he started and ended the quarter with a zero balance. All contributions, totaling $11,313, were in-kind contributions from the candidate himself.
District Court Judges
Newcomers Cynthia Dry and Lauren Hoben are vying for seat 3 from outgoing judge Charlie Brown. Both women have raised over $20,000 this quarter, with Hoben raising slightly more funds. Hoben started the period with $3,040 and during the quarter received $21,149 in contributions, of which $630 is aggregate or donations of $50 or less. She finished the term with $9,429 available. In addition to many small contributions, she was boosted by several large individual donations, including $2,500 from Nicole Holmes Matangira, $2,000 from John Andrew Basinger, and $1,000 each from Sandra Mullins, Millie Washburn, Charles Wicker and Helen Wicker .
Dry started the period with $2,738 and is reporting total contributions of $20,169. She ended the quarter with a balance of $1,417. Notable contributions include $1,150 from James Owen Jr. and $500 from RDBeatrice.
Kevin Eddinger is fighting to retain the No. 1 seat against challenger Christopher Sease. Eddinger reports starting the period with a zero balance and bringing in $5,995 in individual donations and a $2,000 loan to his campaign, leaving an ending balance of $3,232. He received a single donation of $5,000 from Michael Augusta.
Meanwhile, Sease started the quarter with a cash balance of $7,025, then added $5,700 in individual contributions. After expenses, he brings in a cash balance of $314. Sease received $2,000 from attorney John Basinger and $600 from attorney Todd Paris.
Beth Dixon, unopposed for Seat 2, listed no reports. James Randolph, unopposed for Seat 4, reports an initial balance of $491, a $10 donation from him to keep the account open, and an ending balance of $501.
In the two-candidate race for Superior Court clerk, Rebecca Saleeby led Todd Wyrick in total fundraising, but Wyrick ended the quarter with slightly more cash in hand.
Saleeby entered the first quarter of 2022 with $3,682 in cash and ended with $1,507. In total, she raised $27,118, all through individual contributions. Notable contributions to Saleeby’s campaign include $200 from Rep. Julia Howard and $564 from Rep. Harry Warren, including $84 in sign materials.
Wyrick entered the quarter with $1,993 and ended the quarter with $1,848. In total, he raised $14,565. This includes $5,475 in individual contributions, $4,590 in block contributions ($50 or less per contribution) and $4,500 in loans. Wyrick received $600 from Pierce during the campaign.
House District 83
Kevin Crutchfield started and ended the first quarter of 2022 with far more cash in hand than fellow Republicans Grayson Haff and Brad Jenkins. Crutchfield’s campaign reports having $25,000 on hand at the start of the period, which its financial report says began March 9 instead of January 1. Crutchfield applied after district maps were redrawn. District 83 will encompass southwestern Rowan and eastern Cabarrus counties. From then until April 30, Crutchfield’s campaign reported spending $19,438. He ended the period with $44,814 in cash. In total, Crutchfield raised $64,392.
Haff reports starting the year with $175 in cash and ending with $449. Haff spent $8,555 that time, according to the report. In total, he raised $10,004. Notable contributions to Haff’s campaign include $40 from Harry J. Warren for NC House, $100 from Senator Carl Ford, $105 from the Committee to Elect Angie Spillman, and $250 from Sease.
Jenkins started the year with $965 in cash and ended with $1,368. In total, he raised $2,895.