Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin emerged as the money leader during the primary season, both among fellow Democrats and overall. Tomblin raised nearly $2 million during the primary phase. He added $180,000 of that during the April 29 to May 26 post-primary filing period — more than the five other Democrats combined. He also spent all but $29,183 of his total as of May 26.
Such spending helped Tomblin win his party’s May 14 primary. Republicans nominated Bill Maloney. The Morgantown businessman led a field of eight GOP hopefuls with $314,000, or more than half of the funds raised in that primary. Around $74,000 of Maloney’s total arrived during the post-primary period.
But Maloney has also provided his campaign with $650,000 of his own money. He loaned $50,000 of that May 26, helping him to post an $88,000 campaign balance.
Maloney spent nearly $870,000 on his primary race. That means he spent $31.20 for each of the 27,871 votes he received. Maloney won with 45 percent of the GOP vote. Only one Republican candidate spent more per vote than Maloney: Larry Faircloth, a former longtime legislator, at $35.38.
Prevailing with just over 40 percent of the Democratic vote, Tomblin spent the equivalent of $38.14 per vote. Primary rival John Perdue, the state’s elected treasurer, spent the most per vote among the Democrats and overall at $52.
Slightly more than half of Maloney’s spending went to Strategic Media Services, a K Street advertising firm. He devoted another 21 percent on printing from Political Ink, also a Washington, D.C., outfit. Maloney outspent the rest of the Republican candidates, who devoted a combined $526,600 to their efforts. Betty Ireland, a former secretary of state, spent nearly $216,000 of that. State Sen. Clark Barnes, R-Randolph expended around $135,600. Faircloth spent nearly $85,000, while Putnam County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Sorsaia spent nearly $71,000. The other Republicans — Ralph Clark, Jackson Delegate Mitch Carmichael and Cliff Ellis — each reported spending less than $10,000.
Tomblin spent just over $1 million on advertising through Beltway firm Media Strategies and Research. A California-based direct-mail company AMS Communications, received $251,201. The Democrat’s campaign also spent $111,850 with Washington political consultant Struble Eichenbaum Communications and $97,838 for tracking surveys from Global Strategy Group of New York.
The rest of the Democratic field spent $2.4 million. House Speaker Rick Thompson, accounted for $1 million of that followed by Perdue with $832,000. Secretary of State Natalie Tennant spent nearly $398,000 while acting Senate President Jeff Kessler spent nearly $175,000. Arne Moltis of Kanawha County reported spending $5,310.
Tomblin attracted more than $1.17 million of his haul at 32 fundraisers held around the state. The seven other candidates who listed fundraisers had together reported raising $861,000 from them. But the race’s most successful single fundraiser was held by Thompson, D-Wayne, collected $208,622 at an April 5 event at the Guyan Golf and Country Club in Huntington.
All told, the primary phase featured around 8,500 contributors. Those who give more than $250 at a time must provide their addresses, occupations and employers. Nearly 77 percent of those donations came from West Virginia, while another 12 percent came from five neighboring states. Tomblin gathered 89 percent of his large-dollar donations from West Virginia and its neighbors, while they made up around 80 percent of Maloney’s.
At least a third of Tomblin’s donors hail from the energy sector, with most involved in coal. Another 12 percent came from hospital executives and physicians and other health care professionals. Lawyers and law firms provided another 12 percent. Tomblin received 10 percent of his funds from retailers. The construction industry gave around 7 percent and the finance sector, 6 percent.
The finance sector, which includes banks, insurers, real estate and investment firms, reflects around 29 percent of Maloney’s haul. The energy sector contributed a similar portion. Health care interests provided 11 percent, and 10 percent came from construction interests.
The special general election is Oct. 4. The state Supreme Court has mandated that an elected governor take office within one year of when Democrat Joe Manchin resigned as governor to become a U.S. senator. Manchin stepped down as governor Nov. 15 after winning a special election for his current seat. The governor’s office is again up for a full, four-year term in 2012. The Senate’s president, Tomblin is acting governor under the state constitution’s vacancy provision.