Campaign spending totals are in

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 3, 2006

If you plan on conducting a successful campaign for Suffolk City Council, you need to be prepared to spend some money.

Late last week, candidates filed their final fundraising and expenditure reports for the May 3 election.

In all, the 8 candidates vying for the four seats spent $120,413.96, or an average of $15,051.75.


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That’s more than I suspected it would be, but not by much.

There didn’t appear to be a lot of activity between when the first reports were filed, a week or so before the election. On the chart above (I hope you can make it out, I’d be happy to email it to anyone who wants if you send me a request at, I think the most interesting figure is in the last column, the cost per vote each candidate paid.

Mayor Bobby Ralph topped all others in this category. The mayor spent a whopping $42.09 for each of the 570 votes he received. He lost by 390 votes, so he would have to spend, in theory, another $16,457 on top of the $23,993.96 he reported as having spent, to have held onto his seat.

Interestingly, the winners (excluding Charles Brown who ran unopposed and whose rampant spending skewed the results) Jeff Gardy, Charles Parr and Joe Barlow, each spent about the same per vote, ranging from $12.30 (the lowest per vote total of any of the 8 candidates) for Gardy, $13.16 for Parr and $13.24 for Barlow.

These numbers should give those up for re-election, or planning to challenge, in ’08 a good idea of what they will need to do in terms of fundraising.

Contributors of $100 during the first reporting period were reported here in an earlier post. Here are the rest of them (Some of the reports were hand written. Where writing was illegible, I did the best I could in deciphering it and put a question mark beside of it):

Calvin Jones, Holy Neck

Harry Lee Cross III, Suffolk realtor, $100

Dennis and Margaret Gartman, Suffolk, $250

Hampton Roads Realtors PAC, $1,000

Myles Standish, retired city manager, $150

Tidewater Builders Association PAC, $1,000

Virginia Professional Firefighters, Hardy, VA, PAC, $200

Thomas Woodward Jr., Suffolk attorney, $400

Friends of Fred Quayle, PAC, in-kind preparing and sending mailer, $547.40

Jeff Gardy, Holy Neck

Tri-City Developers, Suffolk developers, $1,000

Hampton Roads Realtors PAC, $1,000

Frank Sheffer, Suffolk CPA, $500

Charles Lollar, Norfolk attorney, $150

C. Leonard Willis, Suffolk retiree, $300

Tidewater Builders Association PAC, $1,000

Bobby Ralph, Suffolk

Area Investors Group, Chesapeake developers, $100

Mr. and Mrs. Bob Arnette, Chesapeake developers, $100

Mr. and Mrs. James D. Bass Jr., Virginia Beach developers, $100

Tom S. Brothers, Suffolk hauling service, $100

Mr. and Mrs. George S. Callis, Suffolk, $100

Coastal Virginia Construction, Chesapeake construction co., $100

Coastal Virginia Developers, Chesapeake developers, $100

Coastal Virginia Properties, Chesapeake developers, $100

Coastal Virginia Realty, Chesapeake Realtors, $100

Costal Virginia Volleyball Club, Chesapeake recreation, $100

Cypress Creek Farm, Chesapeake developer, $100

Richard and Nora Harrell, Suffolk, $100

Ryan and Camille Harrell, Suffolk, $100

Minnesota (?) Virginia Properties, developers, $100

South Suffolk Properties, Chesapeake developers, $100

Mr. and Mrs. Keith Starling, Suffolk, $250

Sydney(?) Properties, developers, $100

Tidewater Builders Association (PAC), $1,000

Charles Parr, Suffolk

Back Bay Outdoors, Chesapeake property management, $250

William S. Dodson Jr., Suffolk, $250

Hampton Roads Realtors PAC, $1,000

John W. Leggett Jr., Suffolk, $500

Charles M. Lollar, Norfolk attorney, $150

Ira Steingold, Suffolk attorney, $50

Virginia Professional Fire Fighters, $200

Leonard C. Willis, Suffolk shipbuilding consultant, $300

Walter Boyette, Suffolk real estate investor, $767 in-kind contribution for food at a fundraiser

Mary Hill Chuckatuck

Willie O. McClan(?), Manassas, $100

John McMaury(?), Suffolk, $120 in-kind for T-shirts

Joe Barlow, Chuckatuck

J. Wayne Melchor, Suffolk developer, $300

David Gray, Chuckatuck

E. Dana Dickens, Suffolk consultant, $100

Mia Gilman, Cullowhee, N.C., $100

Supreme Petroleum, Suffolk, $2,500

C. Leonard Willis, Suffolk consultant, $300

J. David Gray, $1,143.27, in-kind for advertising

J. avid Gray, $1,006.83, in-kind for advertising

Charles Brown, Cypress

Brown listed no cash contributions between April 29 and June 10 of more than $100, though he did report 39 contributions of $100 or less, which totaled $3,899, or an average of $99.974 each. Curious.

Brown also listed some interesting expenditures on his report for the period, including: $500 to William Goodman for managing his campaign; 18 campaign workers paid $150 each; $500 to Lula B. Holland for “administration of campaign account;” Ms. Holland was also paid $500 for her services in coordinating the victory party, prayer breakfast, and campaign reception decorations. The Brown campaign also paid $650 for 200 meals at the “Williams funeral.”

Other notable expenditures by candidates included:

Charles Parr who paid Thelma Hinton $2,150 for campaign work;

Jeff Gardy who paid $483.75 for flowers for his campaign workers;

Bobby Ralph, who paid $2,100 to poll workers and $500 for campaign workers. The candidate was the payee for all but $100 of that which went to John Bright.

Joe Barlow paid Phillip J. Infantino III $2,000 for campaign services and $200 for canvassing;

Calvin Jones paid Evelyn Jones $893.30 for “invitations, thank you notes, party supplies, beverages, refreshments, decorations, etc.”; and just $125 to one poll worker, Angie Owens.