Kingsport Times News Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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Sullivan school board candidates report campaign contributions

August 1st, 2012 2:14 am by Rick Wagner

BLOUNTVILLE -- Sullivan County Board of Education candidates' campaign financial reports run the range from candidates spending nothing in selected time periods to spending more than $1,000 on signs and other advertising.


The highest spender was approaching $2,900 as of July 23.


Some candidates filed reports even through they were not required, while others opted not to file. School board candidates do not have to file financial disclosures unless they exceed $1,000 in contributions or expenditures.


The disclosures on file with the Sullivan County Election Commission show that the biggest spender as of July 23 among nine candidates in four races was District 5 BOE challenger Randall Jones, a retired Bristol, Tenn., school system assistant director who lives in Indian Springs. He is seeking the seat held by board Chairman Ron Smith.


As of July 23, Jones had spent $2,842.67 including $855 for a billboard near the school system central office in Blountville.


A close second in the highest spending category was District 7 incumbent and BOE Vice Chairwoman Betty Combs of the Bluff City area. She had spent $2,638.95 on the campaign,


On the other extreme, incumbent District 1 candidate Jack Bales of Sullivan Gardens reported receiving and spending nothing in two reports, from July 1 to July 23 and from Jan. 16 to March 31, although he reported taking in and spending $80.99 for the period from April 1 through June 30.


Challenger Heather Price of Sullivan Gardens did not file any reports.


And in the District 3 race, incumbent Jim Kiss and challenger Todd Broughton, both of Bloomingdale, did not file financial disclosure forms.


School board members receive $350 a month except for the chairman, elected by board members, who receives $400. Members also are eligible for health, dental and other insurance benefits open to school employees and can be reimbursed for travel and expenses for out-of-town meetings.


Administrator of Elections Jason Booher said those who seek a part-time position like school board and are paid less than $500 a month do not have to file financial disclosures unless they exceed $1,000 in contributions or expenditures, although they can choose to file with any amounts if they want.


The nonpartisan, four-year BOE seats will be on Thursday's ballot. The other three BOE seats will be on the ballot in another two years.


In the District 5 race, Jones reported from July 1 through July 23 having $187.42 on hand and spending $157.67, for an ending balance of $29.75. Expenses were an $8 bank maintenance fee and $149.67 in printing and shirts from Gametime Sports and Awards of Kingsport.


In the April 1 through June 30 period, Jones reported a starting balance of zero, receipts of $2,872.50, and expenditures of $2,685 for an ending balance of $187.42.


Income included $250 from Steve Dixon of Bristol, Tenn., retired Bristol City Schools superintendent, and a contribution from Jones to his campaign totaling $1,572.


Expenditures were $35 for a voter CD, $902.58 for printing from Vista Print in Lexington, Mass., $855 for billboard advertising from Lamar Companies of Blountville, $210 in advertising flier inserts from the Kingsport Times-News, and $682.50 for sign printing from Mumpower Signs in Bristol, Va.


Smith, of the Blountville/Piney Flats area, reported a beginning balance of nothing in the July 1 through July 23 period, receipts of $130 and spending of $127.32 for an ending balance of $2.68. The filing had no details about the $127.32, but all those amounts were well less than the $1,000 threshold that would have required filing a report.


Also in District 5, challenger Anissa Lyttle of Indian Springs from July 1 through July 23 reported a starting balance of $78.98, $14.52 in unitemized contributions, and spending of $93.50 for an ending balance of nothing. The $93.50 was for T-shirts from Cheaptshirts.com.


Lyttle had reported from March 3 to March 31 receiving a $500 contribution from Michael Lyttle of Dickson, Tenn., and no expenditures.


In District 7, Combs reported a beginning balance of $3,414.34 in the July 1 through July 23 period, no receipts, and expenditures of $2,638.95 for an ending balance of $775.39.


Expenditures were $30 in campaign buttons, $1,183.95 in postage from Postcard Mailer in Clearwater, Fla., and $1,425 in advertising from WFHG radio in Bristol, Va.


From Feb. 27 to March 31, Combs reported giving her campaign a $2,000 loan in that period and receiving $200 from a former county executive, former county commissioner and retired teacher, John McKamey, and spending nothing, with $2,200 on hand at the end of that reporting period.


All told, she reported $4,000 in loans to her campaign.


Combs' challenger, Michael Hughes, reported a beginning and ending balance in the July 1 to July 23 period $92.56.


In the April 1 through June 30 period, he reported taking in $512.56 and spending $420 for an ending balance of $92.56. From Jan. 16 through March 31, Hughes reported giving his campaign a $2,000 loan and spending $1,487.44, leaving $512.56 on hand at the end of the period. The expenditures were $845.60 on signs from All Star Trophies in Blountville and $641.84 for signs from All Star Trophies in Knoxville.


For more information on the school board candidates and races, go to the Sullivan County Election Commission Web site at www.scelect.org.

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