Riddick top campaign spender

Published 10:37 am Saturday, May 1, 2010

FRANKLIN—Franklin Mayor Jim Councill has raised a few more dollars, but his opponent has spent more.

Candidates for the Tuesday, May 4, election were required to turn in their most recent finance reports Monday.

According to the reports, mayoral challenger James Riddick Sr. had spent $2,656, compared with Councill’s $1,682.

Meanwhile, Councill had raised $3,545, compared with Riddick’s $3,535.

As of April 23, Councill had $2,754 in campaign funds on hand, while Riddick had $878. Councill, who is seeking an eighth term, had nearly $900 at the start of the election cycle from previous campaigns.

Individual contributions of more than $100 must be listed in the documents. Councill’s largest contributors are Everett Williams, who gave $400, and S.W. Rawls Jr., C.D. Bradshaw Jr. and Robert Tyler, each of whom gave $200.

Riddick’s largest contributors are Clyde Pitchford, who gave $1,500, and Willie L. Riddick, who contributed $425.

The reports show that the bulk of Councill’s spending was for advertising in The Tidewater News. Riddick also spent a significant amount for advertising in The Tidewater News and for signs and banners.

The position of mayor pays $10,437 per year.

The only candidate for a ward seat on the City Council to spend nearly as much as the mayoral candidates is Greg McLemore. He is challenging incumbent Councilwoman Rosa Lawrence in Ward 3.

Campaign finance documents show McLemore had spent just under $1,000 on his campaign as of April 23, with the majority of his expenditures going to signs and printing materials; electronics, including a recorder and tapes; and gasoline. McLemore’s largest contributor is Ray Patel.

As of April 23, Ward 6 candidate Jamie Brown had spent $291 on his campaign, all of it for sign materials and design.

Ray Smith, who is also running for the Ward 6 seat, hadn’t spent any of the $100 in campaign funding he had raised.

Lawrence, Ward 5 Councilwoman Mary Hilliard and Ward 6 candidate Don Blythe all turned in requests for exemption from reporting requirements. The three are only required to turn in a final report that will detail their campaign’s financial activity.

By signing the exemption forms, Lawrence, Hilliard and Blythe all declared that they did not intend to solicit or accept any contributions from any other person during the course of the campaign, did not intend to contribute more than $1,000 of their own money during the campaign and that they did not intend to spend more than $1,000 in total during the campaign.

Hilliard is unopposed for re-election.

Ward seats on the council pay $7,896 per year.

The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.