CHARLESTON (AP) — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin emerged from West Virginia’s primary season with a more than 3-1 edge in campaign cash over Republican opponent Bill Maloney, according to campaign finance reports posted by the secretary of state’s office.
The filings, reflecting activity as of May 20, also show Tomblin was the most potent fundraiser among all statewide candidates during the primary phase. The Democrat attracted nearly half of the $3.5 million poured into these races by contributors. The figure excludes money provided by candidates themselves or through public financing, as well as federal races.
All told, spending on these statewide races topped $2.6 million during the primary season. The two-seat state Supreme Court race accounted for two-thirds of that spending. With six Democrats running, the expenditures per seat approached $895,000.
With Tomblin and Maloney each facing little-known primary opponents, spending in their races totaled $422,640.
Tomblin raised $1.5 million during the primary season. He gathered $376,687 of that during the April 23-May 20 reporting period, with $141,130 of that coming from eight fundraisers. He had $1.2 million on hand as of May 20.
A Morgantown drilling consultant and business owner, Maloney took in $470,565 from contributors during the primary campaign. His filing-period total of $133,052 included $54,130 from a half-dozen fundraisers. Maloney reported a campaign balance of $375,000.
Both Maloney and Tomblin held their events in-state during the filing period. Maloney is hoping to gain ground on the campaign cash front this week, with a Wednesday reception with Texas Gov. Rick Perry. It follows one Tuesday that featured Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
As for the Supreme Court race, former State Bar President Tish Chafin spent the most among all state-level candidates during the primary campaign, $827,134. Around $94,400 of that came during the most recent filing period.
Justice Robin Davis followed, with $566,196 in primary-season spending. But Greenbrier Circuit Judge Jim Rowe outspent her during the reporting period, $93,813 to $23,069. Davis and Chafin prevailed in the May 8 election.
The two Democrats will face Jefferson County Circuit Judge John Yoder and Allen Loughry, a longtime Supreme Court law clerk, in November. Yoder and Loughry were unopposed in the GOP primary, and Yoder has raised less than $10,000. Loughry is taking part in a public financing pilot program. As a result, he’s received $350,000 in public funding for the general election. Only Chafin, who loaned her campaign $1 million, had a larger balance May 20 with $381,848. Davis had $46,544 on hand.
The May 8 primary featured just a few other statewide contests. They included the Democratic race for agriculture commissioner, which featured five contenders. Led by state Sen. Walt Helmick, they together spent $220,203. The nominee, Helmick, spent $139,129 including $95,500 during the filing period. Relying on a $25,000 loan in addition to contributions, Helmick had a $2,800 campaign balance. Reports from the unopposed Republican running for the seat, Kent Leonhardt, were not immediately available Wednesday.
Just one state-level race saw a candidate outspend his opponent but lose May 8. Steve Connolly spent $10,105 in the GOP contest for treasurer, but Senate Minority Leader Mike Hall prevailed after spending $8,229.
Hall had nearly $10,900 on hand. Treasurer John Perdue was unopposed in his Democratic primary and reported a balance of nearly $66,000.
Auditor Glen Gainer and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, both Democrats, also have cash advantages over their races’ GOP nominees. But Republican Patrick Morrisey had two and a half times as much as Attorney General Darrell McGraw in advance of their general election matchup.
Each ran unopposed in the primary. McGraw, a Democrat, was outraised by Morrisey $251,288 to $102,850 as of May 20. Morrisey has also loaned his campaign $50,000, and reported a $242,559 balance. McGraw had $96,186 on hand.