CAMPAIGN FINANCING: Local GOP candidates for state office have raised more and spent less than Democrats since primary

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Republican candidates seeking to represent Bartholomew County in the state legislature outperformed their Democratic opponents in the Nov. 8 midterm elections, according to campaign finance reports.

However, the two incumbents — Rep. Ryan Lauer, R-Columbus and Sen. Greg Walker, R-Columbus — have collectively spent less money than their Democratic challengers Ross Thomas and Bryan Munoz since the May 3 primary.

Lauer, for his part, reported $54,298 in itemized contributions toward his re-election bid for Indiana House District 59, according to documents filed with the Indiana Secretary of State’s office that were current. October 14.

Lauer’s campaign also said it spent $60,532 this election cycle, though all but $4,095 was spent during or before the primary, according to state records. Lauer faced a primary challenge from longtime Bartholomew County prosecutor Bill Nash last spring.

By comparison, Thomas, who is challenging Lauer in the general election, has declared $22,106 in contributions this election cycle, but the lion’s share of his campaign spending — $6,766 out of $8,681 of his total spending — is came after primary school. Thomas ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Walker, who is seeking a fifth term to represent Indiana Senate District 41, reported $13,950 in contributions this election cycle and $10,990 in expenses — including $9,750 in contributions his campaign made to parties local Republicans, to other GOP candidates and organizations, rather than expenses directly associated with his re-election campaign, according to state records.

Munoz, who is challenging Walker in the general election, said he has raised $11,755 and spent $11,023 in the current election cycle, according to campaign finance reports. All of his expenses, except $1,817, were incurred on or after primary election day.

District 59 House Race

During this election cycle, Lauer’s campaign brought in $23,900 in contributions from 20 political action committees, also known as PACs, according to state records.

The largest PAC contribution reported by Lauer’s campaign for this election cycle came from the Indiana Realtors Political Action Committee, which donated $10,000 on March 30, according to state records. Lauer also received $1,000 from the Indiana Multi-Family Housing PAC, which is associated with the Indiana Apartment Association.

Lauer’s campaign committee also brought in $3,000 in contributions from Hoosiers this election cycle for a Political Action Committee for Quality Education, which advocated for state vouchers to allow some families to send their children in private schools at taxpayer expense, according to documents filed with Internal Revenue. Service.

In addition, Lauer’s campaign has garnered $1,000 contributions from Indiana PAC firefighters, Indiana BANKPAC, the Build Indiana political action committee, as well as $500 contributions from the committee. beer industry political action committee, Duke Energy Corporation PAC, Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers and Indiana Title Political Action Committee. .

Cummins Inc. Political Action Committee, AT&T Indiana Political Action Committee, Citizens for Better Roads, ICE Miller PAC, Indiana Builders Political Action Committee, Indiana Fraternal Order of Police Political Action Committee, Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Political Action Committee and Taft Stettinius & Hollister Better Government Fund each contributed $300 to Lauer’s campaign this election cycle.

Lauer also filed a “significant contribution report” on Oct. 24 to report a $1,500 contribution from Indiana PAC attorneys.

Almost all of Lauer’s expenses for this election cycle — $55,407 out of $60,532 in total expenses — were for advertising-related costs, according to campaign finance disclosures. Since winning the GOP nomination in the primary, Lauer has spent $4,095 of his campaign funds, including $1,706 on event-related expenses and $1,500 on billboard advertising.

Thomas reported no contributions from PACs, according to campaign finance reports. However, he reported $2,000 in contributions from the Bartholomew County Democratic Party and $410 from the Bartholomew County Women’s Democrats.

Additionally, $10,818 of the $22,106 in contributions reported by Thomas were listed as undetailed, meaning it’s unclear precisely who contributed the money, according to campaign finance reports. .

In terms of expenses, Thomas reported $5,386 in advertising expenses this election cycle, including printed materials, a website, bumper stickers, signs from an e-campaign. mail, among others, according to state records.

Senate District 41 Race

About 80% of all the money Walker raised this election cycle came from PACs, according to campaign finance records. As of Oct. 14, Walker had reported $11,150 in contributions from 20 PACs, including $2,500 from the Indiana Realtors Political Action Committee and $1,000 each from the Political Action Plan of the Fraternal Order of Indiana Police, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP and Indiana BANKPAC.

In addition, Walker reported on Greg Pence’s contributions to Congress, the Indiana Multifamily Housing Policy Action Committee, Friends of Rural Electrification of Indiana, the Power Industry PAC beer, the Cummins Inc. Political Action Committee, the Duke Energy Corp. PAC, the Indiana Pharmacists Action Committee, among others.

The biggest recipient of Walker’s campaign funds this election cycle was the Johnson County Republican Party, which received $4,125 from the state senator’s four-term campaign, according to state records. . The Bartholomew County Republican Party also received $2,600 from Walker’s campaign.

Walker also donated $2,000 to Clarity of South Central Indiana, $175 to Bartholomew County Right to Life, $200 to Lauer’s campaign and $600 to the GOP candidate for Bartholomew County Sheriff Chris Lane, who is running unopposed in general elections. state records show it.

Nearly half of all funds Munoz reported raising — about $5,418 — came from ActBlue, an online fundraising platform for Democratic and progressive candidates.

Munoz also brought in approximately $2,488 in contributions from the Bartholomew County Democratic Party and $1,000 from the Indiana Political Action Committee for Education, or I-PACE, which is the political action division of the Indiana State Teachers Association.

In terms of expenses, Munoz reported $7,049 in advertising costs, including $3,325 for t-shirts. Munoz also reported about $596 to the Penn and Beech Candle Company, which he once listed as free candles.

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