Source: Sherman Publications

About $100,000 spent in primary races

by Mary Keck

September 12, 2012

Candidates in the 2012 Primary raised over $100,000 to fund their campaigns, according to finance reports submitted to County Clerk Bill Bullard on September 6.

Of the candidates for supervisor, Terry Fortuna raised the most at $16,963 with $15,500 being self-donated. Although he succeeded at obtaining more money than Pat Kittle, Fortuna’s fundraising didn’t gain him a win.

Kittle, who got the most votes, wasn’t far behind in fundraising, however. He amassed $15,625 for his campaign mainly through $100 to $500 donations from supporters. “I was very fortunate in that people in the community were very generous in donating,” Kittle said.

Waring and Wallace both garnered almost $13,000 to fund their bids for supervisor. Even though Wallace was outspent by about $4,000 by both Kittle and Fortuna, he secured the second-highest number of votes. Kittle won by 38 percent with Wallace gaining 27 percent of Independence Township’s votes.

While big spending may not have played a role in the supervisor’s race, it may have made a difference in the election results for Clerk and Treasurer.

Incumbent Barb Pallotta acquired about $5,000 more than her opponent Jeff Decker, and she achieved 70 percent of the township’s votes. “I couldn’t afford one flyer,” said Decker. “You’ve got to have funds,” he said.

Presumptive treasurer Paul Brown accumulated $14,655, twice as much as incumbent Curt Carson who raised $6,980. Candidate Nanci Anderson-Bereznicki spent only $1,750 on her bid for treasurer. Votes for Brown reached 43 percent while Carson votes came in at 41 percent, and 16 percent of the ballot went to Anderson-Bereznicki.

Among the eleven trustee-hopefuls in the primary, Jose Aliaga and Ron Ritchie gathered the most financial support. Aliaga raised $9,115, and Ritchie raised $6,765.06. With the exception of Joette Kunse who obtained almost $2,000 for her campaign, most candidates for trustee didn’t spend over $1,000.

Andrea Schroeder, who will be on the November 6 ballot for trustee with Republicans Aliaga, Ritchie, and David Lohmeier, noted she had “fewer first time expenses” because she ran for trustee four years before. Schroeder was able to reuse signs, which saved her money that made a dent in first-time candidates’ pocketbooks. Democrat candidates Jeremy Mitchell, Kevin Bushroe, and Joe Wauldron spent less than $1,000 on the primary, but will face more opposition in November.

What did the candidates spend the money on? From mailers to ads in The Clarkston News to website design and T-shirts, the candidates spent most of their money on advertising and fundraising events. For example, while Kittle participated in the Independence Day parade and held a fundraising event, most of his campaign dollars were spent on mailers, signs, and newspaper ads. If you’d like to view the candidates’ finance statements, go to