SEBRING —The campaign coffers of the school board candidates are growing, with two contested races so far and a total of nine candidates.
A review of past elections shows campaign financing may play an important part in the upcoming school board elections.
Data from the Highlands County Supervisor of Elections from the past 10 years shows that in every school board race the candidate who won the election had the higher amount in total finances.
Since 2006 there were five contested school board races with two candidates in each of those five races. The five winners with a total of $52,386 in campaign contributions had more than double the money of the five losers, who had a total of $24,645.
Highlands County Assistant Election Supervisor Karen Kesinger said the campaign donations and expenditures are balanced with the total amount called “total finances.”
So far for the 2014 races, a total of $38,293 in campaign contributions, including $1,227 in in-kind donations, has been reported by the nine school board candidates - three are running in District 1, the District 4 incumbent has no opposition, and five candidates are running for the District 5 Seat.
By comparison, the incumbents in the two county commission races, who so far have no opposition, have a total of $3,175 in monetary donations and zero in-kind contributions.
The qualifying period for the Aug. 26 primary election is noon June 16 through noon June 20.
Following are the campaign contribution totals listed Wednesday for the 2014 school board races, according to the Highlands County Supervisor of Elections:
Charlene Edwards - $4,906 monetary, $820 in-kind.
Al Joe Hinson - $3,375 monetary, $358 in-kind.
Ronnie L. Jackson (incumbent) - $150 monetary, zero in-kind.
William “Bill” Brantley (incumbent) - $1,300 monetary, $24 in-kind.
Jill Compton - $6,250 monetary, zero in-kind.
Clinton T. Culverhouse - $5,915 monetary, zero in-kind.
William “Pep” Hutchinson, III - $520 monetary, zero in-kind.
Trevor A. Murphy - $8,250 monetary, zero in-kind.
William “Tres” Stephenson, III - $6,400 monetary, $25 in-kind.
Concerning the Highlands County Commission election, District 2 incumbent Don E. Elwell has received $500 in monetary contributions and District 4 incumbent Jack L. Richie has received $2,675 in monetary contributions.
As mentioned earlier, in the five previous school board races the candidate with the higher total finances won - 2012 District 3, Janet Shoop ($15,300) defeated MaryAnn Lewis ($2,779); 2010 District 1, Ronnie Jackson ($7,541) defeated Olivia Scott (($5,315); 2010 District 4, William “Bill” Brantley ($8,875) defeated Richard Norris ($5,750); 2006 District 1 Wally Randall (($5,830) defeated Alvin Conner (($3,291) and 2006 District 5, Andy Tuck ($14,840) defeated Chet Brojek ($7,510).
In the most recent superintendent of schools election, in 2012 there was $87,406 in total finances among the four candidates - Wally Cox ($29,200), who won the election, Rebecca Fleck ($6,931), William “Pep” Hutchinson ($46,475) and Roberta Peck ($4,800).