Hayes, Coker neck and neck in money race for district attorney
The old adage is that money can’t buy you everything, but in today’s political atmosphere, it sure helps to grease the wheels towards being elected.
Projections are that billions will be spent on the presidential election in November, but in Fayette County, the figure is closer to thousands of dollars for individual races. Over the next few weeks, The Citizen will analyze the campaign disclosure forms for the candidates in the myriad of races on the May 24 ballot. This week, we examine the race for sheriff and district attorney.
One of the biggest advantages to being an incumbent is name recognition and familiarity, and it looks like current Sheriff Barry Babb is capitalizing on those factors.
In his report filed April 4, Babb showed just over $27,000 in cash contributions, along with $3,600 in-kind contributions. Babb has just over $5,000 in cash on hand.
Some of Babb’s donations include:
• Former Sheriff Randall Johnson: $250.
• Political operative Bob Ross: $250.
• CPA Tim Anders: $2,400.
• Business owner Jake Mask: $200.
• Business owner Richard Dumas: $500.
• Chick-fil-A operator Doug Barnett: $500.
• Business owner Tammie Harp: $1,000.
Babb’s opponent, Fayetteville detective Christopher Stevers has received $4,875 in contributions, along with a $1,700 loan. His disclosure report listed no cash on hand.
Stevers’ contributors included:
• Teacher Jeremy Sweeny: $500.
• Caregiver Deann Odom: $400.
• Business owner Karla Leonard: $200.
• Retired Jerri Slemons: $500.
The district attorney’s race features three candidates. With current district attorney Scott Ballard running for judge, the field is wide open and the money spread throughout the field.
Fayette’s Rudjard Hayes leads the pack with $35,872 in contributions, although just over $26,000 is a personal loan. He currently has $10,674 on hand.
Hayes’ contributions include:
• Attorney Virgil Brown: $1,000.
• Accountant Melissa Coker: $500.
• Retired Susan Casavan: $500.
• Kyle Marp Construction: $1,000.
• Political operative Bob Ross: $150.
The other Fayette candidate in the race, Cindy Manning, lists $17,501 in contributions, including a $3,431 personal loan. She lists $15,149 on hand.
Her contributions include:
• Business owner Mo Andriate: $500.
• Wealth manager Susan Godbee: $1,000.
• Liston Law Firm: $500.
• Peace Stables: $1,000.
• Quality manager Reid Spearman: $1,000.
The final candidate in the race is Thomaston’s Benjamin Coker. Coker lists $35,718 in contributions and $13,374 on hand. The vast majority of Coker’s contributions hail from outside Fayette.
Coker’s contributions include:
• Attorney Paschal English: $1,000.
• Attorney Heath English & Jane-Asher: $1,875.
• Virgil Brown and Associates: $1,000.
• Ophthalmologist Murry Dean: $750.
• Export International: $1,000.