Entering election home stretch, Salango and Smith keep up fundraising pressure

Heading into the final days of West Virginia’s primary election, recent filings provide a better idea of what financial resources the candidates for governor can bring to bear.

Two of the leading Democratic primary contenders, Ben Salango and Stephen Smith, reported competitive campaign hauls.

Two of the Republican candidates, Gov. Jim Justice and former Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher, continued to loan their campaigns enormous sums of money.

Ben Salango

Salango reported $140,964 in total contributions during the period, which had a reporting deadline on Friday.

The Charleston lawyer and Kanawha County commissioner, reported receiving $123,051 in monetary contributions along with $17,912 in in-kind contributions. The in-kind contributions for expenses such as rent, signs and posted, were listed as from Salango himself.

The Salango campaign has reported spending $809,000 so far this campaign season and has $100,630 remaining on hand.

Salango’s campaign put out a statement on Friday, touting the fundraising.

“We have the momentum and the outpouring of support from West Virginians has allowed our campaign to get Ben’s message out,” stated Grant Herring, campaign manager for Salango.

“We are peaking at the most critical time when voters are making their decision about which candidate is best equipped to get things done for West Virginia families.”

Stephen Smith

Smith‘s campaign, heading a slate of candidates collectively known as “West Virginia Can’t Wait,” reported $136,633 in total contributions. Of that, $124,543 was monetary contributions and $12,000 was in-kind contributions.

The Smith campaign has reported spending $779,224 on the campaign so far and has $111,717 still on hand.

Smith’s campaign pointed to the total amount raised as a sign of support.

“At the final fundraising report before the election, we beat our millionaire and billionaire opponents at their own game,” stated Katey Lauer, spokeswoman for Smith’s campaign.

“When we pledged not to take corporate PAC money, the wealthy Good Old Boys Club told us we could never compete in fundraising. Thousands of West Virginians proved them wrong. We’re ahead.”

Ron Stollings

Senator Ron Stollings, another Democratic candidate, reported raising $20,865 during the period. All of those contributions were monetary.

Stollings, a Boone County physician, has spent $251,242 total and has $33,242 on hand.

Gov. Jim Justice

On the Republican side, incumbent Gov. Jim Justice reported $52,740 in contributions, all monetary rather than in-kind.

Justice, known as West Virginia’s only billionaire, loaned his campaign $607,700 during the period.

Justice’s campaign, which has spent a total of $2.1 million — much of it from self-loans — has $50,500 on hand.

Woody Thrasher

Woody Thrasher, another Republican candidate, reported bringing in $16,530 in contributions during the period.

Thrasher, a businessman who was once the Justice administration’s Commerce secretary, loaned his campaign $810,300 during the period.

The Thrasher campaign has spent $3,855,359 so far — much of it also from loans — and has $27,816 on hand.

Mike Folk

Another Republican, Mike Folk, reported contributions of $26,981. Of that, $9,676 was monetary contributions and $17,305 was in-kind.

Folk, an airline pilot from Berkeley County, also loaned his campaign $90,000.

Folk has spent $240,560 so far and has $14,408 on hand.

Doug Six

Yet another Republican candidate, George Douglas Six, raised only $65 during the period but loaned his campaign $22,275.

Over the course of the campaign, Six has collected $3,265 in monetary contributions and $78,000 in loans.

That campaign has spent $78,600 so far and has $2,666 on hand.

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