NASHVILLE — Democrat Gordon Ball raised just $26,950 in contributions from donors for his U.S. Senate campaign in the second quarter, but the successful Knoxville class-action lawsuit lawyer more than made up for that by reaching into his own pocket.
Ball loaned his campaign $209,161, according to his federal financial disclosure. He put another $28,637 directly into his Senate race, according to forms filed with the U.S. Senate Secretary's office.
The candidate had total operating expenditures of $263,023, including at least $24,000 in radio ad buys, more than $25,000 for billboards and $88,470 to Memphis advertising agency Sutton Reid.
Other Ball expenditures included $5,315 to Kemba Ford of Memphis, a member of the Ford family political dynasty, as a fund-raising consultant.
Ball has said all along he planned to put up to $400,000 of his own money into his late-starting effort.
The candidate provided a copy of the disclosure today after the Times Free Press requested it a week ago.
Senate candidates file with the Senate Secretary's Office of Public Records. The Senate transfers the records to the Federal Election Commission. That can be a lengthy process and in this case the FEC still doesn't have the report on its website.
Second-quarter reports were due to the Senate Secretary's office on July 15.
Ball is running in the Aug. 7 Democratic primary where he faces fellow Knoxville attorney Terry Adams and others, including Larry Crim of Nashville.
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., is running for re-election and faces state Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, and Memphis radiologist and radio state chain owner George Flinn, who has put $1.8 million of his own money into his effort.
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, ...