Candidates raised, spent thousands on campaigns

WOODSTOCK – Candidates who raised and spent a lot of money in Shenandoah County’s election this year didn’t necessarily win.

Campaign finance reports filed with the voter registrar’s office or the state Department of Elections reflected activity from Oct. 22 through Nov. 26. Candidates had to file with either agency by Thursday.

Several candidates who sought the exemption from the reporting requirements early in the election cycle eventually rescinded that allowance because they either spent more than $1,000 on their campaigns or they accepted contributions.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Amanda M. Wiseley won a second term on Nov. 3, fending off Republican Party challenger Chad A. Logan, an assistant prosecutor for Rockingham County. Wiseley ran again as an independent.

Logan collected almost $16,204 during the entire election cycle and spent roughly the same amount, leaving $50 in his campaign coffers.

Wiseley collected $56,763 during the cycle, most of which came from a loan she gave herself. Wiseley spent $5,144, leaving $51,618 in her campaign, including the unpaid loan.

During the last reporting period, Logan received $2,900 in contributions including $2,000 from the Shenandoah County Republican Committee on Oct. 26. Other contributions came from Woodstock farmer Daniel Logan and attorney Orrin French. Logan reported that he loaned his campaign about $263 during the period, bringing his total debt to about $1,263.

Wiseley spent no money during the last period and reported un-itemized cash contributions totaling $724.

In the 5-way race for circuit court clerk, Sarona Irvin, won the election but did not spend the most on her campaign. Irvin collected $12,901 and spent almost as much during the entire cycle, leaving about $94 in her campaign. She reported $1,300 in contributions in the last period. Irvin also spent $1,883 in that period.

David George ran against Irvin as a Republican. George raised $17,972 and spent $14,403, leaving his campaign with $3,569. The Shenandoah County Republican Committee gave $2,000 to George in the last period.

Adam Sharp ran for the office as a Democrat. Sharp collected $17,064 and spent all but about $183 during the cycle. In the last period, Sharp received $1,175 in contributions that included another donation from Common Sense for the Valley, a political action committee in Strasburg.

Tamara Heishman, clerk of the general district court, collected and spent $13,844 during the cycle. In the last period, Heishman received almost $640. Also in her report, Heishman reported that she returned $1,445.60 to D and M Meats, a contribution she received on April 26, on Nov. 23.

Lisa Long, Wiseley’s office manager, collected $5,040 during the cycle and spent $4,748. She had almost $293 left in her campaign fund.

Board of Supervisors
District 2 Supervisor Steve Baker retained his seat as the Republican candidate, fending off independent challenger Michael Wakeman.

Baker collected $10,404 and spent $8,162 this election cycle, leaving a balance of $2,242. In the last reporting period, Baker received $1,000 from Valley PAC, a political action committee based in Harrisonburg, and $500 from Del. C. Todd Gilbert, R-Woodstock. Baker spent almost $4,422 in the last period.

Wakeman collected $7,151 and spent $6,521 during the cycle, leaving his campaign fund with about $630. Wakeman reported no activity in the last period.

District 3 Supervisor David Ferguson lost his bid for a fourth term to newcomer Richard Walker. Ferguson ran as a Republican; Walker as an independent.

Ferguson filed early in the election season for an exemption from the filing requirements, agreeing to neither accept contributions nor spend more than $1,000 of his own money on the campaign.

Walker collected $2,070 and spent near the same amount during the cycle, leaving about $17 in his campaign fund.

District 6 Supervisor Conrad Helsley ran as an independent and won re-election to a fourth term. Helsley fended off challenges from Republican candidate S. John Massoud, Strasburg Town Councilman Robert B. “Bob” Baker and former councilwoman Sarah K. Mauck. Bob Baker and Mauck ran as independents.

Helsley, Baker and Mauck had filed early in the cycle for the reporting exemption.

Helsley rescinded his exemption and reported in the last period that he received contributions totaling $1,550. Helsley spent nearly all the money he received. Of the total contributions, $500 came from William Holtzman, president and owner of Holtzman Oil Corporation, and $500 from Washington, D.C., lobbyist J. Daniel Walsh. Walsh and his wife, Cyndy Walsh, started the Shenandoah County Parents’ Alliance for Strong Schools, an organization that lobbied heavily for school spending. Helsley reported that he received the two $500 donations on Nov. 5 and 6. Helsley’s report notes that he donated $58 to PASS.

Massoud reported that he raised and spent $14,234. Massoud received contributions totaling $2,300 in the last period that included donations from the Shenandoah County Republican Committee and two other political campaigns.

School Board
District 2 member Richard L. “Rick” Koontz Jr. held on to his seat. Koontz fended off challengers Barbara C. Bliss and Joanie B. Hovatter. Koontz reported in-kind contributions he made in campaign materials valued at about $590.

In the District 3 race, Cyndy Walsh won the seat to succeed Kathryn Holsinger, who did not seek re-election. Walsh had to rescind the exemption when she spent $98 more than the $1,000 limit. Walsh gave $1,000 to her own campaign. D. Roger Barbee and Steve Wood also ran for the seat. Wood’s final report showed he spent a little more than $800 on his campaign. Barbee reported that he gave a total of $1,000 to his own campaign in direct contributions and spent nearly all of it.

In the District 6 race, member Sonya Williams-Giersch won re-election against challenger Van Holmes III. Both candidates filed for the exemption. Williams-Giersch filed a finance report showing she gave $1,000 to her campaign and spent about $507.

In other races, Sheriff Timothy C. Carter ran unopposed for another term. Carter reported that he ended up raising $60,427 and spent about $17,715, leaving a balance of $42,712.

Commissioner of Revenue Kathy Black and Treasurer Cindy George ran unopposed for re-election. Black and George also filed for the reporting exemptions. Black and George filed final reports with the registrar showing they had spent no more than $1,000 nor accepted contributions. Black loaned herself $1,000 and spent $900 to cover the fee to run as the Republican Party candidate.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com