Little spent in election

By Thomas Wilson
star staff

  Campaign signs dot intersections and front yards around the city of Elizabethton as city election candidates have spent a few dollars to get their campaigns rolling.
  City residents will choose three City Council members from six candidates and three School Board members from seven candidates in the Nov. 2 city election.
   Tuesday was the deadline to file financial disclosure statements with the Carter County Election Commission office detailing campaign contributions and expenditures from candidates running for city and state offices.
  Among council candidates, challenger Charles LaPorte led in campaign spending with $1,500 in contributions and $3,564.13 in expenditures, according to his financial disclosure statement.
  Challenger Tom Whitehead followed with $2,387.72 reported received and paid out in campaign expenditures. Other council candidates Robert L. Gobble reported $717 and Curt Alexander listed $657.59 spent on their disclosure statements.
   Incumbent Councilwoman Nancy Alsup reported $341 spent with no remaining fund balance on her statement. Candidate and fellow council incumbent Richard Sammons had not submitted his disclosure statement to the commission office as of Wednesday afternoon.
  Among city School Board candidates, Rita Bullock Booher led in fundraising with $865 raised and $541.06 spent during the financial reporting period, according to her disclosure statement.
  Patricia Bellamy followed with $611.46 received and $607.17 spent during the reported period. Candidate Connie Baker reported receiving $460 and spending $446.39, while fellow challenger Matthew Cooter reported a campaign balance of $87.38.
   Incumbent School Board members Dr. Bob Sams and Judy Richardson reported no contributions or itemized expenditures as did challenger William "Sonny" Hunt who also reported zero dollars received or spent during the reporting period.
  City Judge Lewis Merryman reported no contributions or expenditures in his disclosure statement.
  Five citizens are also vying for one 4th District seat to the Carter County Commission. In that field of candidates, Steve Lowrance led with $1,133 in contributions and expenditures in his disclosure statement.
  Roberta Bowers reported $600 received and $559 in expenditures, while Steven D. Pearson listed $460 in contributions and expenses.
  Candidates L.C. Tester reported no campaign funds or expenses during the reporting period while Gary Lewis reported no contributions but $46 in expenses.
  The financial disclosure statements reflect campaign fundraising from mid-August through October. Early voting began Oct. 13 and concludes today. Most itemized expenditures listed by the candidates were for media advertising and campaign signs.
  County Administrator of Elections Tracy Harris said her office had voted 831 registered voters on Wednesday bringing the overall early voting total to 8,176 - an impressive number given only 6,877 persons total voted in the Aug. 5 county general election and state primary.
  Early voting totals for the Nov. 2 city, state, and federal election also exceeds the November 2000 election when 5,985 cast their ballots before Election Day.