State candidates spend thousands on election

By Thomas Wilson
STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com

   With the state election only days away, two campaigns for the state House of Representatives District 4 seat are spending dead presidents by the thousands.
   Tuesday was the deadline for candidates running on the Nov. 5 election ballot to submit pre-election financial disclosure statements to the county election commission where they have residence.
   House District 4 Republican nominee, Jerome Cochran, added roughly $4,600 in new contributions, primarily from PACs such as Tennessee Highway Contractors and the Tennessee Bankers PAC, according to his disclosure statement filed with the Carter County Election Commission.
   Cochran spent $3,419 during the reporting period.
   A group calling itself the Committee to Re-Elect Ralph Cole launched a write-in campaign for Cole, who was defeated by Cochran in the Republican primary.
   According to his disclosure statement submitted to the Election Commission, Cole reported expenditures of $8,250 with one new contribution of $500. His post-primary statement listed a war chest of $58,000 remaining for Cole.
   A representative with the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance confirmed Tuesday the Committee to Re-elect Ralph Cole had submitted a financial disclosure statement with their office on September 17.
   Contributions over $100 must be itemized with the name and address of the contributor on the disclosure statement. The pre-election disclosure statements cover campaign donations and expenditures from Sept. 16 to Oct. 26.
   Fundraising, and spending, is a different story in the state senate's District 3 race.
   Three-term incumbent Republican Dewey "Rusty" Crowe of Johnson City, Democratic nominee Richard D. Gabriel of Gray, and independent candidate Charlie Mattioli of Elizabethton are seeking to represent Carter and Washington counties in District 3.
   Crowe reported funds over $45,300 and expenditures of $37,709 during the final two weeks of the primary campaign in his post-primary statement. His pre-election report submitted to the Washington County Election Committee on Tuesday reported $11,600 in new contributions and over $6,600 spent through Oct. 26.
   Crowe earned his new campaign contributions from several Nashville-area political action committees (PACs) as well as contributions from the National Rifle Association and Duke Energy in Charlotte, N.C.
   Gabriel reported spending $202 of his own money pre-election reporting period, according to his pre-election disclosure report. Mattioli reported a campaign fund balance of $750 with $445 in new contributions and $1,183 spent on his pre-election disclosure filing.