Early reports detail campaign spending

The business of politics – campaign finance filings from candidates involved in Tuesday’s primary election.

Money can definitely help win a political election.

But it doesn’t guarantee anything.

While final campaign reports aren’t due until July 15 according to Warren County Director of Elections Lisa Rivett, reports for the period of January 1 through May 1 were filed in the run-up to Tuesday’s primary.

In the race for magisterial district judge, Ray Zydonik – the leading vote-getter on both the Republican and Democratic tickets – outspent his opponents by a wide margin in the January to May reporting period, spending more on yard signs alone than either of his opponents raised or spent for their entire campaign.

Campaign finance filings available at the Warren County Courthouse show that Friends of Ray Zydonik received contributions totaling $6,938.70 between February 24 and May 1 and spent roughly half of it on filing fees, advertisements, website development as well as $2,114.70 on yard signs.

In comparison, between January 1 and April 4 Benjamin Lobdell received $500 in contributions and spent $1,414.63 while Kevin Reagle received $1,900 between January 1 and May 1 and spent nearly all of it.

The same trend didn’t hold for seats on the Warren County School Board.

Paul Mangione in Region I and Jeff Labesky in Region II spent nothing during the reporting period and emerged victorious on Tuesday.

Mike Maxwell also didn’t file a report but lost to Labesky. In Region III, Mary Passinger reported no campaign expenses between January 1 and May 1.

More money was spent in Region I than anywhere else in the district.

Supporters of Amy Elizabeth Huffman reported $710 received in a report filed May 5 while another report indicates that $1,209.28 was spent on yard signs. She successfully made it through Tuesday’s primary.

The same can’t be said for Aaron Stearns and Jared Villella.

A May 8 filing from the Committee to Elect Aaron Stearns reported only a $70.13 expense for business cards while Villella reported receiving $1,175 as of May 10, spending $440.96 of that total on yard signs.

Rivett said that the final campaign reports are due June 15, 30 days after the election.

She noted that she has encouraged candidates unsuccessful in the primary have been encouraged to zero out those reports so they can serve as final campaign expense filings.