First Posted: 1/15/2009
Campaign reports for all campaigns have been turned in to the Robeson County Board of Elections, which discloses contributions and disbursements through April 20. No doubt, the hottest reports are those of the sheriff campaigns and never has so much money been accumulated for a countywide race.
The Maynor for Sheriff campaign reported a total sum raised during the period of $38,100. Cash on hand at the end of the reporting period totaled $103,364, rivaling the cash balances of many statewide campaigns. Even with disbursements to pay campaign expenses of $27,000 during the period, the Maynor camp managed to end the reporting period with cash on hand in the unheard of six-digit column.
Despite fears from some Maynor supporters that the political firestorm at the Robeson Community College may spill over into the campaign, the strength of the sheriff's fund-raising refutes that thinking. If anything, the school board's vote to relieve the superintendent racially neutralized any argument that one group was taking over another, removing a potentially controversial issue from the campaign. As one put it to me, “the slate has been wiped clean,” politically that is.
Going through Maynor's contribution lists, 226 folks are listed as contributors. The average contribution works out to $169 per person. The top contributors who gave $500 or more are: R.D. Locklear II; Mary J. Lowery; Deborah Alred; Joe Brooks Sr.; Rhonda Deese; Carlton Mansfield; Bryan Brooks; Arlie Jacobs; Mark D. Locklear; Grady Hunt; Leon Williams; Dickson McLean Jr.; Zeb Oxendine; John Thompson; Leslie Thompson; Raymond Cummings; and Roger Oxendine.
Of the three challengers running for the office of sheriff, Mark Locklear leads in fund-raising.
A total of $15,100 was contributed from 90 folks to the Locklear campaign. In-kind revenues from fund-raising dinners, merchandise sales and payments for campaign-related materials by others kicked in an additional $21,354, leaving a total of direct and in-kind contributions of $36,454.
Direct disbursements totaled $14,750, coupled with in-kind payments for campaign materials of $5,550, making total campaign expenditures for the period of $20,300.
The top contributors who donated $500 or more are: Dak and Robbie Locklear, Bobby Davis, Gary Collins, Greg and Lisa Hunt, Talford Dial, Phillip Locklear, James Mitchell Jr., Dennis and Marlita Moore, Dr. Ronald C. Locklear and Jason Locklear.
Next in the fund-raising ranking race is the Hubert Covington for Sheriff campaign.
The Covington campaign raised $4,160 through April 20 ,with seven individuals listed. Disbursements totaled $3,541 for the period's campaign-related expenses.
The top contributors who contributed $500 or more to the Covington camp are: Mac Jones, Ed Odum, Calvin Floyd and Frankie Mishue.
Last in fund-raising, but outspending the Covington campaign in disbursements, was the Emmett Brown for Sheriff committee.
A total of $900 in contributions was made to the Brown camp, with Emmett Brown loaning his campaign committee $3,300 to finance expenditures of $3,800 during the reporting period.
The Brown for Sheriff campaign's top contributor of $500 or more was Hubert Stone.
And finally …
To finish up, this tidbit of news will interest all the sheriff candidates. The News & Observer reported last week that Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, Erskine Bowles, would be supporting legislation that would prohibit a sheriff from firing a deputy or other staff member who participated in a challenger's campaign.
Bowles said that the legislation was needed to prevent deputies from being fired for not working for their bosses' re-election campaigns and that “we do need to get the politics out of public service.”
I've always believed in the old political saying “to the victor goes the spoils,” so I am sure Democratic sheriffs and their supporters could not believe Bowles' comments. Most all Democrat and Republican sheriffs will disagree with Bowles on this issue, so do you think the N.C. Sheriffs Association will endorse a Republican?
-- Bo Biggs is a former chairman of the Robeson County Board of Elections and a local columnist.