With the political season in full swing, candidates are collecting contributions and spending funds in hopes of being elected.
With few contested races in the 2010 Primary Election -- which is May 4 -- not many of the candidates had the need to fill out pre-primary campaign finance reports, which were due April 9.
By far, those with the largest amount of contributions and expenditures came in the race for Clay County Prosecutor.
Republican incumbent B. Lee Reberger -- through his campaign committee -- has collected a total of $5,295.76 in contributions. Reberger himself has been the biggest contributor to his campaign by putting in $3,322.76 from Jan. 1-April 9, 2010.
Other large contributors include $400 from Brenda Knight, Brazil, along with $300 apiece from Nancy Reberger and James Reberger, both of Brazil. Several others also contributed between $100 and $250 to his campaign.
As of April 9, Reberger has spent $3,612.33 of the funding, with the vast majority ($2,634) going to Miller White Advertising, Terre Haute, for the purchase of billboards and other media. Reberger had also spent $44 on stamps, $245.57 at A+ Printing, Brazil, for T-shirts and $688.76 through an online purchase with Premium Graphicx Signs, Houston, Texas, on yard signs.
Reberger's Republican opponent for prosecutor, Robert (Bob) Pell, had collected $2,950 in contributions, $2,000 of which was put in by he and his wife, Jan. Process, Development and Fabrication, Inc. (PDF), Brazil, has been the largest outside contributor with $500, while James and James, Inc., Brazil, contributed $250 and Dan and Joyce Swartz, Brazil, added the other $200.
Pell appears to have been rather conservative in his spending as $980.73 of his $1,010.73 in expenditures went to My Campaign Store, Jeffersonville, Ind., on campaign supplies like pens and yard signs.
Democratic candidate for Prosecutor, Charles Hear, has also been busy in racking up the campaign finance contributions and expenditures, even though he is unopposed in the Primary.
Although only contributing $200 to his own campaign, the other $2,000 of his total came from John and Frances Hear, Fishers.
Of the $2,200, Hear had spent $1,416.04 as of April 9, most of which ($1,166.04) went to Harcourt Industries, Inc., Milroy, Ind., for promotional materials, while the other $250 was spent with Mike Wilson, Brazil, for Web Page Development.
All three have funding left over for possible use heading into the General Election. As of April 9, Pell had the most remaining with $1,939.27, Reberger had $1,683.43 and Hear had $783.96.
In the other contested county race -- County Council, District 3, both incumbent Democrat Dolores Johnson and Republican hopeful Rick Neier had accumulated no contributions or expenditures. However, Republican candidate Toni Carter had put up $500 of her own funding toward her campaign. Of this amount, Carter made two online purchases, $237.80 of which was at signsonthecheap.com, Austin, Texas, and $234.73 to signelect.com, Houston, for signs and other campaign merchandise. This left Carter with $27.47 available as of April 9.
Of the remaining candidates in the Primary for county-level positions, all are unopposed and most have not had any collections or expenditures.
Incumbents Mike Heaton (Sheriff) and Debra James (Treasurer) have been the exceptions.
Both have collected minimal contributions. Heaton has had a total of $150 -- $50 from himself and $100 from Marcie Rush, Brazil -- of which $90 had been spent between two program advertisements for the Northview Band and Baseball team.
James has had $100 in contributions, and $75 in expenditures, all of which has been labeled as unitemized.
Of the six candidates for the three available At-Large positions on the Clay Community School Board of Trustees, none had filed a pre-primary campaign finance report.
Clay County Deputy Clerk Beth Mallinak told The Brazil Times school board candidates do not have to file a report unless more than $500 is spent on their campaign.
Mallinak added those who lose in the Primary, but have funding still available in their accounts have a few options.
"If they choose to keep their campaign account open, they must file an annual report, and they can be fined if it is not turned in on time," she said. "However, there must be a zero balance in the account in order to close out the committee."
Mallinak told The Brazil Times the leftover funds may be refunded to contributors, given to charity or even contributed to another candidate's campaign to help create the zero balance.
The 2010 Primary Election takes place Tuesday, May 4, and polls will be open from 6 a.m.-6 p.m.
Political sign reminder
In the weeks leading up to any election, residents may see signs promoting various political candidates pop up.
While there is no code or ordinance in the county setting a time limit in which the signs must come down following an election, the City of Brazil does.
According to section 156.232 (B)(5) of the Brazil Code of Ordinances, signs announcing political candidates or issues are allowed, "provided that such signs be removed within 10 days after the election."
Change in polling location
The Clay County Election Office is reminding residents living in the Brazil 4 and Posey 3 voting precincts that their polling places have changed for the 2010 Primary.
Brazil 4 voters will be casting their ballots at the Brazil National Guard Armory, 970 W. Craig Ave., Brazil, while the location for Posey 3 voters is Berea Christian Church, 1995 W. County Road 800 N., Brazil.
For questions or more information, contact the office at 448-9023.