Area candidates start out slow in fund-raising

ADDISON COUNTY — Addison County candidates for Vermont House and Senate seats are apparently expending more shoe-leather than money thus far in their campaigns.
Phone calls to district town clerks in which there are races reveal that only a few candidates raised or spent more than the requisite $500 needed to trigger the filing of campaign finance forms by last Thursday’s deadline.
In Addison-4, the two-seat district that includes Bristol, Monkton, Starksboro and Lincoln, two of the five candidates filed forms. Incumbent Rep. Mike Fisher, D-Lincoln, listed a 2008 campaign carry-over of $1,424, supplemented by $1,210 in new, local contributions. He has thus far spent $587.68 in his re-election bid this year.
Also in Addison-4, Republican challenger John “Peeker” Heffernan reported a $515 carryover from his 2008 campaign. Reports show he has yet to spend any money on this year’s campaign.
In the two-seat Addison-3 district that includes Vergennes, Ferrisburgh, Panton, Waltham and Addison, Republican Thelma “Kitty” Oxholm of Vergennes reported total contributions to date of $300, along with a $500 loan to her campaign. She has thus far spent $70.68, according to her campaign finance forms. Four candidates are involved in that race.
Though he has no competition this year, incumbent Rep. Willem Jewett, D-Ripton, raised $1,630 in his bid for another term in the one-seat Addison-2 district that includes Cornwall, Ripton, Salisbury, Leicester, Hancock and Goshen. He reported spending around $480 to date. Jewett explained that he had sent out a letter asking for support before the final election slate had been set.
Only one candidate for Addison County and Brandon’s two state Senate seats filed finance forms last Thursday. Veteran state Sen. Claire Ayer, D-Weybridge, reported expenditures of $72 and contributions of $1.29.
On the statewide election scene, two Addison County residents are involved in the race for lieutenant governor. In that race, Starksboro Republican Mark Snelling reported contributions of $78,906 and expenditures of $61,364 (his opponent Phil Scott, raised $47,458 and spent $42,251.) New Haven Democrat Chris Bray reported contributions totaling $27,249 and expenditures of $19,814. Those figures were originally unavailable as the Bray campaign had initially faxed its finance forms to the Secretary of State’s office. After learning that the Secretary of State’s office doesn’t accept faxed forms, the Bray campaign submitted an acceptable copy on Friday. His Democratic opponent in the race, Steve Howard, has raised $50,804 and spent $23,490.
In the governor’s race, Republican Brian Dubie led all candidates with funds raised. By the filing date, Dubie had raised $943,960 and spent, $455,116.
Among the Democrats, Deb Markowitz raised $523,946 and spent $337,189; Peter Shumlin raised $418,490 (including a $150,000 loan to himself) and spent $200,492; Matt Dunne raised $267,860 and spent $129,100; Doug Racine raised $210,157 and spent $133,271; and Susan Bartlett raised $70,919 and spent $58,802.
Much of the money spent so far by the candidates has gone into infrastructure and staffing, while expenses going forward will be more geared toward advertising, field staff and marketing.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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