With nearly a year to go before the election, candidates for the Floyd County sheriff office are already raising – and spending – big bucks.
Tom Caldwell, Ronnie Kilgo and Dave Roberson are vying to replace Sheriff Tim Burkhalter, who is not running for reelection. Monday was the deadline for candidates to file campaign finance disclosure reports through June 30.
Roberson reported $18,284 in his war chest. Caldwell had $32,290, including a $20,000 loan. Kilgo’s net balance was $4,273 as of Jan. 31.
Floyd County Chief Elections Clerk Robert Brady said Wednesday the men aren’t required to follow the schedule. Although they’ve filed declarations of intent to accept contributions and are in campaign mode, they won’t be official candidates until they qualify for the election.
The qualifying period isn’t until the first week of March 2020, so more candidates may emerge.
Kilgo said Wednesday he’s taking in small-donor money but, “we’re not as active,” as the other two campaigns. He’s set up a website but doesn’t plan any fundraisers until the fall.
“You’ve got a city election coming up between now and the election. I don’t want to confuse people,” he said. “It’s trickling in, but it’s mostly word-of-mouth right now.”
All three announced candidates are running as Republicans. The winner of the May 19, 2020, primary will move to the November general election ballot.
Caldwell reported taking in a total of $41,691 since he launched his campaign – $21,691 in contributions and a $20,000 personal loan. He’s spent about $9,400 so far, mainly on a website, bumper stickers and online ads.
Major donors this cycle include Melanie Caldwell, $2,000; Mr. and Mrs. Charles Rainwater, $500; Mr. and Mrs. Keith Winslette, $500; Carolyn Barden, $200; and Mr. and Mrs. Howard Wachsteter, $125.
Roberson listed a total of $28,918 in contributions and $10,633 in expenses. In addition to buying campaign car magnet and posters, he reported sponsoring several events including a donation to the Sheriff’s Santa program and a team entry for the North Broad Youth Center golf tournament fundraiser.
AW Acquisitions of Rome was the top donor this cycle at $2,500. The company’s organizer is Joseph Seigler Jr. and Andy Welborn is its registered agent.
Contributions at the $2,000 level came from Jim Owens of Rome and Be Roberson of Buchanan.
Other major donors included Curtis Doyle, $1,000; Courtesy Ford Lincoln Mercury, $1,500; Law Office of Steven V. Bennett, $500; Chaplain David Thornton, $500; Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, $500; and two local bonding companies, Corntassel and Bad Boys, at $250 each.
Kilgo’s major donors included Johnny Hann, $1,000, and Ace Hardware of Lindale, $500.