published Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Greg Vital raises more than $100,000 in Tennessee Senate race


by Chris Carroll
Greg Vital, Todd Gardenhire
Greg Vital, Todd Gardenhire

WHO'S GIVING?

To Vital

Frank Brock, $500

Charles Brock, $1,000

Richard Crotteau, $200

Victor Ashe, $500

Bill Hullander, $500

Bill Knowles, $50

To Gardenhire

Zan Guerry, $1,000

Julie Guerry, $1,000

Arthur Rhodes, $250

Source: Financial disclosures

Republican Greg Vital swept second-quarter fundraising in the state's 10th Senate District GOP primary, reaping $120,425 versus $17,850 for rival Todd Gardenhire, state filings show.

Tennessee Registry of Election Finance reports, filed Tuesday, also show Democratic 10th District hopeful Andraé McGary raised $10,797 during the April 1-June 30 reporting period.

"We've been having to prove to people that we're in this, that this isn't a throwaway race," McGary said.

Neither of the two other Democrats running in the Aug. 2 primary, Quenston Coleman and David Testerman, filed financial disclosures by Tuesday's deadline. Testerman said he intends to file. Coleman said he didn't raise enough to file a disclosure.

Early voting in legislative and local contests begins Friday.

Drew Rawlins, executive director of the Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance, said nonfilers will get a five-day grace period, then start facing fines.

"All state candidates have to file a second quarter report," Rawlins said in an email.

Those who raise $1,000 or less don't have to provide any information other than the fund balance.

Meanwhile, in the much-watched House District 28 primary race between incumbent Democratic Reps. Tommie Brown and JoAnne Favors, Brown's disclosure shows no contributions.

Brown and Favors were squeezed into the 28th District, how represented by Brown, during Republican-controlled redistricting this year.

Brown had $4,134 in cash on hand after spending $1,790 from money raised in previous periods. She has a fundraiser scheduled later today and has been known to put her own money into campaigns.

Favors reported raising $5,550 in the period. She reported spending $12,701 and a cash balance of $10,778.

SENATE 10

Vital and Gardenhire are battling for the GOP nomination in a district redrawn to be friendly to Republicans. Incumbent Democrat Andy Berke decided not to seek re-election but to run for Chattanooga mayor.

Besides what he raised, health care entrepreneur and developer Vital reported loaning his campaign $50,000. He had loaned himself $75,000 in the first quarter, filings show.

Vital said he is pleased with his fundraising haul, noting he has a cross-section of Republicans, Democrats and independents.

"I think the numbers speak for themselves," he said. "It's a lot of people I've worked with over the years who are willing to step up and get involved in my type of campaign. I appreciate their support and their gifts."

Vital reported spending $153,308, including at least $19,000 on billboards and nearly $25,000 on radio ads. He said he hasn't decided whether to buy television time. He had $80,735 in cash as of June 30.

Gardenhire, a financial consultant at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, reported loaning $20,000 to his campaign, for a total take of $37,850. He reported spending $24,626, leaving him with $10,493 as of June 30. He spent more than $18,000 on printing and $2,849 on telephone lists.

He said he expects to spend $150,000 on the GOP primary, "preferably from donors." Failing that, he'll self-finance, he said. Gardenhire noted Morgan Stanley policy prohibits him from soliciting his clients for donations.

"That's been a real handicap," he said.

Gardenhire declined to comment about any planned advertising.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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