2016-11-03 / Front Page

Dems lead in campaign funds

By Patti Brandt Burgess
Of The Enterprise staff

Campaign finance statements filed Friday show that the Leelanau County Democratic Committee is mirroring what’s being seen on the national level, with $7,500 flowing into coffers of five county commission candidates.

On the GOP side of the aisle, the Leelanau County Republican Party contributed a total of $1,500 to six candidates, as well as in-kind donations of about $849 for newspaper ads.

“Yes, the Democratic Party has worked hard to raise the money so we can support our candidates,” said Betsy Johnson, chair of the Democratic Party. “We have more than 400 paid members and their goal is to elect a more progressive county government.”

Karen Josephus, chair of the local Republican group, said her party also works to get local candidates elected.

“For the most part Republicans are conservative in their spending, or at least we try to be,” Josephus said. “We work harder with less money.”

Democratic incumbents Ty Wessell, District 4, and Patricia Soutas-Little, District 5, each received contributions of $2,000 from their local party, and Carolyn “Peachy” Rentenbach, District 6, received $1,000.

Democrat John O’Neill, who is challenging District 2 Commissioner Melinda Lautner, received $2,000, while Dana Getsinger, who is running against District 2 incumbent Republican Debra Rushton, was given $500.

Lautner and challengers Casey Noonan, District 6, and Dale Schaub, District 5, all Republicans, each received $250 from the county Republican Party.

Candidates whose committees receive contributions of less than $1,000 are not required to file reports.

Rushton and fellow Republicans Tom Van Pelt, who is challenging Wessell, and District 3 Commissioner Will Bunek did not file reports, though they also received donations from the Republican Party.

Bunek’s Democratic challenger Dean Robb also did not file.

The pre-election finance statements cover the period from about Aug. 22 until Oct. 23 — which is 16 days before the election. Statements covering the Primary Election period were filed in July.

Post-election statements are due on Dec. 8.

In the race for Leelanau County Prosecutor, Joseph T. Hubbell is being outspent by attorney Jeffrey Slocombe, who is running without party affiliation.

Hubbell, who is running for his fourth four-year term, received contributions of $1,775 in this period for a total of $2,350 in the election cycle, according to campaign statements.

Slocombe reported just three contributions totaling $5,000, though the lion’s share — some $4,800 — came from himself.

Slocombe claimed expenditures of $3,688, most of which was spent on campaign materials, while Hubbell has spent $1,028 this period — most of it on newspaper advertising — for a total of $1,380 this election cycle.

Hubbell’s contributions came from 20 different donors, with the largest amounts coming from Chief Assistant Prosecutor Douglas Donaldson and Leland resident Ken Bovee, both of whom donated $200.

Elmwood Township resident Bruce Tolbert and Maple City resident Lois Beardsley each gave Slocombe $100.

In the township races, Peter Van Nort is the only candidate who raised enough money to require filing a statement.

A retired corporate executive, Van Nort is running as an Independent for Glen Arbor Township supervisor. He faces Bob Hawley, a Republican.

Van Nort showed contributions of $1,725, with his biggest donors being his wife, Karen Van Nort, who donated $600, and Glen Arbor resident Bruce Wagner, who gave $500.

Van Nort spent $1,228, mostly on postcards and yard signs, according to his campaign statement.

Following are more details from campaign statements showing the amounts raised by each local candidate vying for a seat on the Leelanau County Board of Commissioners:

 Getsinger raised $885 during the latest reporting period from several people who donated $20. Her total for the election cycle is $2,700. She spent $834 — most of it on yard signs, stamps and advertising.

 Wessel raised $2,225 this reporting period for a total of $3,625 in the election cycle. His largest donor was Sara Wellman of Cedar, who contributed $500. He spent $2,400, most of it on advertising, postage and printing.

 Schaub raised $1,265 this period for a total of $2,385. His largest donor was Doris Webb of Northport, who gave $500. He spent $397, all on newspaper advertising. He is running in District No. 5 to represent Leland and Centerville townships.

 His opponent, Soutas-Little, raised $3,770 this period for a total of $5,620. Her largest donation came from Mandy Moseler, owner of Northern Latitudes Distillery in Lake Leelanau, who contributed $1,500.

She has spent a total of $4,079.

 Noonan has raised a total of $1,450 and spent $1,088, most of it on yard signs. Noonan donated $1,200 of his own money to his campaign, with the rest coming from the Republican Party. He is running in District 6 to represent Cleveland, Glen Arbor and Empire townships.

 His opponent, Rentenbach, raised just $20 this period — donated by Lake Leelanau resident Bruce Price — for a total of $1,411. She spent $1,300, most of it on newspaper advertising.

 Lautner raised $1,715 this period, for a total of $1,715 overall. She received a $495 contribution from the Republican Women of Leelanau County. She spent $650, most of it on mailers and a newspaper ad. She is running in District 7 to represent Solon and Kasson townships.

 Her opponent, O’Neill raised $1,600 this period, $774 of which was his own money, for a total of $2,650. He spent $1,452, mostly on newspaper advertising and yard signs.

Return to top