CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- With six weeks until Election Day, Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin is armed with the most cash to spend against gubernatorial primary opponents, while Republican Bill Maloney is the top fundraiser among GOP hopefuls.
The first campaign finance reports in the special primary election -- set for May 14 -- were due Friday night, and the six Democrats vying for the office have raised much more than the eight Republicans.
The reports cover the period between when candidates filed for the office and March 25. Some candidates transferred cash from previous fundraising accounts.
Tomblin, who is president of the state Senate and has been acting as governor since former Gov. Joe Manchin left for the U.S. Senate, reported more than $1 million in contributions. He has raked in more than $635,000 since the race began, and transferred about $396,000 from previous fundraising accounts.
He has spent $109,000 so far, leaving him with about $922,000. Tomblin's donors included coal companies and their executives, a variety of lobbyists and lawyers, and some fellow state lawmakers.
His expenses include $10,000 paid to Struble Eichenbaum Communications in Washington, D.C., for consulting, and about $9,750 to Patriotic Promotions in Charleston for signs.
Maloney, a Morgantown drilling consultant, has raised about $139,000 and loaned his campaign $250,000. He has about $330,000 left after spending nearly $59,000. Maloney held fundraisers in Morgantown, Charleston and Clarksburg. He also had a reception at a restaurant in West Orange, N.J., where donors included people in the oil and gas, financial and real estate industries.
Maloney raised more than fellow Republican Betty Ireland, the former secretary of state, who reported about $79,400 in contributions. She and her husband, Sam Haddad, have loaned the campaign a combined $125,000.
Ireland has $162,000 on hand after spending about $43,000. Her fundraisers included an event at a supporter's home in Charleston, a luncheon and another reception in Washington, D.C., and an event at the Blennerhassett Hotel in Parkersburg.
House Speaker Rick Thompson, D-Wayne, reported about $665,000 in contributions. Thompson has loaned himself about $106,000 and spent $72,000. That leaves him with about $700,000 on hand.
Among Democrats, Thompson was followed in fund raising by state Treasurer John Perdue, who reported nearly $593,000 in contributions; Secretary of State Natalie Tennant ($215,000), and acting Senate President Jeff Kessler (about $95,000).
Perdue has spent the most among Democrats -- more than $260,000. He has a $331,000 on hand. His fundraisers included receptions at the Knights of Columbus Gallery in Weirton; the Hotel Morgan in Morgantown; and Logan Middle School. Numerous employees in the Treasurer's Office have given to his campaign.
Perdue has paid the Nashville, Tenn., firm Fletcher Rowley & Riddle $31,350 for consulting and nearly $117,000 for advertising.
He spent more than $35,000 for research and polling by the Alexandria, Va., firm Secrest Strategic Services, and paid nearly $25,000 to Telephone Strategies Group in Chicago.
Thompson's expenses included about $33,000 paid to Washington, D.C., consulting firm The Mellman Group. He has paid the Charleston firm Plante & Associates about $22,000 in wages and consulting fees.
Thompson held five fundraisers in February and March -- at Bridgeport Conference Center, Power Alley Grill, Sleepy Hollow Country Club, the Embassy Suites; and a supporter's home. State lawmakers, teachers unions and labor unions are among his donors.
Tennant has spent about $31,000 so far, leaving her with about $183,000 on hand.
She reported numerous small contributions from individuals. Her fundraisers included several events hosted at supporters' homes, pulling in a total of about $22,000. Tennant has hired Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research in Washington, D.C., to which she owes $30,8000 for research fees.