Herald Times: Prosecutor, judge candidates raise thousands toward campaigns

Candidates for judgeships and prosecutor lead the Monroe County field in money raised for the primary election.

ccording to pre-primary campaign finance reports, more than $31,000 was raised during the first quarter of the year in the Democratic primary race for county prosecutor. In the three judgeship races, candidates reported raising more than $46,000 combined in an effort to secure the Democratic nominations for three vacant seats within the Monroe Circuit Court.

The Republican primary has no candidates for judge or prosecutor in the May 8 election.

“This election has engaged the law enforcement community unlike others in the recent past,” Monroe County Democratic Party Chairman Mark Fraley said in an email Tuesday. “This is, in part, a product of the high number of vacancies in these offices. Yet, it is also testament to the concern of our community for the rule of law.”

Comparatively, candidates in other local contested races reported raising less than $5,000 combined, although in the county commissioner race, incumbent Democrat Patrick Stoffers has the largest amount of cash on hand at the start of the period — more than $20,000 — of all the candidates.

Monroe County prosecutor candidate Erika Oliphant raised the most — $16,114.93 — during the most recent reporting period, which ran from Jan. 1 to April 13. Her opponents, Democrats Margie Rice and Matt Schulz, raised $13,945.17 and $1,427.75, respectively, for the same period.

Most campaign contributors were area residents and former or current politicians, with a few exceptions. For example, Rice received contributions from the political action committees of Vi Simpson, a former state senator and former Monroe County commissioner, and from Stoffers. Former Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan, former deputy mayor and Ivy Tech Chancellor John Whikehart and former county Commissioner Joyce Poling are among local leaders who donated to Rice.

Oliphant’s campaign also received money from notable Bloomington figures such as former Mayor Tomi Allison.

Despite raising more money than her opponents during the first quarter, Oliphant started the reporting period with less cash on hand. Rice started the most recent reporting period with $5,301.91. Schulz had $4,036.45 in cash on hand, while Oliphant reported having $2,894.91.

Along with raising tens of thousands of dollars, prosecutor candidates also spent thousands during the reporting period. Oliphant spent $13,650.50, Rice $11,686.72 and Schulz $2,429.07 on advertising, catering, mailings, postcards and other campaign expenses.

In the race for Monroe Circuit Court judge, Christine Talley Haseman led in money raised with $10,662.53 for her campaign for Circuit Court Division 2, Seat 2. Haseman began the period with no cash on hand. Her opponent, Chris Gaal, raised $9,888.23 during the same reporting period, although he began with $1,842.23 cash on hand.

Although she outraised Gaal, Haseman’s campaign had fewer individual contributions. According to the campaign report, Haseman loaned her campaign $7,284.92 of the more than $10,000 she raised. She has also spent most of the money raised — $7,997.54.

Gaal, on the other hand, has several pages of direct and in-kind contributions from individuals, many of whom were listed as having contributed $100 or less. He has spent $9,567.06. Both candidates spent the majority of their money on campaign promotion expenses.

In the Circuit Court judge Division 6, Seat 3 race, Democrats Catherine Stafford and Jeff Kehr were about even in money raised. Stafford raised $4,474.17 during the most recent reporting period. She started the period with $1,071.06 in cash on hand. Kehr started the period with $20 but was able to raise $4,539 in the first four months of the year, although $2,500 of that amount was in the form of a loan.

Stafford and Kehr had spent $3,397.48 and $3,795.71, respectively, for the reporting period.

In the third judge’s race, Geoff Bradley, a Democrat running for Circuit Court judge, Division 9, Seat 8, raised $8,788.36 during the first quarter of the year for his campaign. Bradley started the period with $93.05 in cash on hand, according to his pre-primary campaign finance report.

With nearly $8,700 raised, Bradley leads opponents Darcie Fawcett and Alphonso Manns in money raised. Fawcett reported raising $6,078.15 for the same period and $1,979.50 in cash on hand. Manns started the period with $170 and reported raising $1,587.90 in the first quarter of the year.

Commissioner race

Democrat Lee Jones, who is running for District 1 county commissioner, raised more than incumbent opponent Patrick Stoffers during the first quarter of the year, according to campaign finance reports.

However, Stoffers leads overall in money raised, both for his race and among local candidates overall in 2018.

Jones raised $4,337.87 during the most recent reporting period, which is $2,592.87 more than Stoffers, who reported raising $1,745. But Stoffers started the year with $20,134.83 cash on hand, compared with Jones’ $50.

The amount of money the incumbent commissioner raised last year, totaling nearly $22,000, has drawn criticism from some members of the public and his opponent. According to his 2017 annual campaign finance report, around 25 percent of contributions came from businesses that work or have worked with the county.

Jones’ contributions during the most recent reporting period came mainly from individual contributions. The only contribution from a non-individual was $1,000 from the Democratic Women’s Caucus. Stoffers’ most recent itemized contributions were from two businesses, K&S Rolloff and JB Disposal Services, and himself.

The difference in cash is also reflected in how much each candidate has spent during the first quarter of the year.

Stoffers spent $12,917.36 on the campaign in the first quarter of the year, compared with Jones spending about a third of that amount — $3,948.03.

While he is not in a contested primary, Republican candidate Larry Barker raised $1,710 in the first quarter of the year for his campaign to be the next county commissioner representing District 1.

Listed below are itemized direct or in-kind contributions of $200 or more that candidates for prosecutor and judgeships in Monroe County received in the most recent campaign finance reporting period. For full access to campaign finance reports submitted to the Monroe County Election Central office, visit monroecountyvoters.us.


County Prosecutor

Erika Oliphant

Lorraine Farrell — $6,437.95

Erika Oliphant — $1,129.92

Baldwin Kyle & Kamish, P.C. — $1,000

Grazie Italiano — $991.66

Shapiro and Lozano Attorneys-at-law — $800

Lenore Hatfield — $250

Walt Keller — $250

Carol Seaman — $250

Amelia Lahn — $200

Beth Hamlin — $200

Tomi Allison — $200

Margie Rice

Margie Rice — $4,192.86

One World Enterprises — $676.01

Andrea Lutz — $665

Jennifer & Fred Schultz — $603

Jackie Joyce — $500

Joseph Miller — $500

Gregg for Indiana — $500

Lana Eads — $300

David New — $300

John Keith — $250

Judy and Steve Sharp — $250

Pat Williams and Tom Coleman — $250

Carol Weiss-Kennedy — $208.30

Beth Greene — $200

Regina and Don Moore — $200

Joyce Poling — $200

Reflections Pool Builders LLC — $200

Matt Schulz

Schulz’s report did not list any itemized direct or indirect contributions more than $200.

Circuit court judge, Division 9, Seat 8

Darcie Fawcett

Jim Blickensdorf — $992.52

Democratic Women’s Caucus — $750

Elizabeth Mann — $300

Glenda & Patrick Murray — $300

Richard Lewis — $300

Jennifer Armstrong — $269.03

Darcie Fawcett — $211.60

Patricia Williams and Thomas Coleman — $200

Geoff Bradley

Geoff Bradley — $1,800

Amy and Minda Balcius — $500

John and Alice Ray — $500

Seth and Krista Freedman — $250

Donald Rawe and Jennifer Lee-Rawe — $200

Jack Rhodes — $200

Maile Hirota — $200

Margaret Barwick and Milton Barwick III — $200

Paul and Charlotte Zietlow — $200

Harold Dumes and Marha Bradford — $200

Mike Szakaly — $200

Alphonso Manns

Alphonso Manns — $1,437.90

Circuit court judge, Division 6, Seat 3

Jeff Kehr

Jeff Kehr — $2,500

Southern Indiana Home Inspections LLC — $900

Irene Wisley — $400

Charles Caragol — $200

Catherine Stafford

Slotegraaf Niehoff P.C. — $1,216.42

Democratic Women’s Caucus — $750

Jonathan Stafford — $500

Catherine Stafford — $481.10

Linda Stafford — $200

Circuit court judge, Division 2, Seat 2

Chris Gaal

Chris Gaal — $1,164.75

Ted Jones — $1,000

Beth and Thomas Hollingsworth — $300

Patricia Willams and Thomas Coleman — $300

Charlotte Zietlow — $395

Henry Harbaugh — $270

Joe Lamantia — $240

Daniel Foote — $230

Meridee Lamantia — $205

Committee to Elect Bill Breeden — $200

Milton Fisk — $200

Regina and Don Moore — $200

Christine Haseman

Christine Haseman — $7,284.92

Monroe County Democratic Women’s Caucus — $750

Frank Sullivan Jr. — $500

Amartyadeb Goswami and Nancy Goswami — $343.26

Lola Haseman — $300

David Ferguson — $250

Fredrick Turner — $200

Glenda Murray — $200

For full access to campaign finance reports submitted to the Monroe County Election Central office, visit monroecountyvoters.us.