16 June 2008

Election 2008: Legislature

The Associated Press delves through the latest batch of campaign finance reports to calculate that legislative candidates spent more than $2.5 million on the May 13 primary.

The most expensive Senate race: "Braxton County business owner Doug Facemire outspent fellow Democrat Doug Stalnaker 2-to-1 in his bid to succeed Sen. Bill Sharpe, D-Lewis," AP reported. "Facemire poured more than $130,400 into his effort before beating Stalnaker, a multi-term delegate."

As for the priciest House contest, "House Judiciary Chairwoman Carrie Webster spent more than $73,780 before narrowly staving off a challenge from Meshea Poore," the article said. "Poore, a Charleston lawyer, spent around $15,660 and came within 117 votes of toppling Webster in the 31st District."

The analysis also shows that the prevailing candidates reported campaign balances totaling $1.28 million, but that Democrats hold about 80 percent of that cash.

"The money edge partly stems from the lack of GOP contenders," the article said. "Democrats already hold a majority in the Senate and House of Delegates - and they're unopposed for 38 of 100 House seats and three of 17 Senate seats up this year."

Both Facemire and Webster, for instance, are assured November victories for want of GOP challengers.

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