51st District Candidates Fill Campaign War Chests

While six Democrats vied for the five slots in the House of Delegates 51st District primary election, the race was essentially uncompetitive because the sixth-place candidate didn’t really campaign.

The Republican race was also uncompetitive because only four candidates ran.

Overall, the Democrats outpaced their GOP rivals in campaign fundraising and spending in the most recent reporting period. But three of the Republicans began building war chests for the general election.

The figures come from the candidates’ post-primary reports, covering the period April 23 through May 20 — 12 days after the May 8 primary.

Candidates are grouped by party and listed in order of votes received. Among the Democrats, two challengers came in second and third while two incumbents ranked fourth and fifth.

Democrats

Incumbent Barbara Evans Fleischauer topped her party for votes, and all of the district’s candidates for fundraising and spending. She opened the period with $25,518.15. She received $5,930 in individual contributions and $1,360 at a Morgantown fundraiser.

She spent $6,717.96, leaving a balance of $26,090.19 to start the general election season. Her totals for the pri-mary season were $42,165.43 raised and $33,763.14 spent.

Evan Hansen’s previous report was affected by technical glitches in the online form that artificially inflated his totals. That was corrected and the new report’s figures are up to date.

He opened with $23,776.60 and raised $3,320. He spent $200.72, leaving a balance of $26,895.88.

His totals for the season are $32,215.48 raised and $9,337.22 spent.

Danielle Walker opened with $7,008.95 and raised another $2,588.42. She spent $1,858.94, leaving a balance of $7,738.42.

Her totals: $17,940.09 raised, $6,658.68 spent.

Incumbent John Williams began with $4,136.62 and raised $4,400. He spent $4,498.16, leaving himself $4,038.46 for the next period.

His totals, excluding a prior election’s campaign balance brought forward: $15,299.15 raised, $11,524.07 spent.

Incumbent Rodney Pyles opened with $5,235.46 and raised $1,700. He spent $3,979.18, leaving $2,956.28.

His totals: $8,400 raised, $5,443.72 spent.

Cory Kennedy turned in no finance reports for the entire season, indicating he didn’t raise or spend enough to report.

Republicans

Incumbent Joe Statler opened with $848.92 and raised $3,060. He spent $222.09, leaving $3,686.83.

His totals: $8,610 raised, $4,923.17 spent.

Incumbent Cindy Frich started the period with $1,895.71 and raised $3,405. She spent just $100, leaving $5,200.71 to start the next period.

Her totals: $5,605 raised, $404.29 spent.

Debbie Warner began raising money just this period, and spent none of it. She started the period with a zero balance and raised $1,300, leaving her a balance of $1,300.

Roger Shuttlesworth opened in the red, with a negative $55.36. He raised and spent nothing, leaving himself in the red.

His totals, corrected for technical glitches: $250 raised, $305.36 spent.

Third party

Two other candidates did not appear on the primary ballots but will be on the November ballot.

Harry Bertram of Maidsville has no campaign committee as of yet. The secretary of state’s website lists him with no party affiliation, but Bertram told The Dominion Post he represents the American Freedom Union, which describes itself on its website as “the largest nationalist political organization in the United States.”

He previously ran for state Senate in 2014 as a member of the American Freedom Party (not the same as the American Freedom Union); the House of Delegates under the AFP’s previous name, American Third Position, in 2012; and for the House as a Republican in 2004.

Eddie Wagoner, of Morgantown, is running as a Libertarian. He also has no committee and filed no financial documents except a waiver (meaning his financial activity fell below the reporting threshold) in April for the period leading up to March 30. He previously sought this office in 2016.

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