Candidates surpass reporting threshold|Editor’s note: This is the 10th installment in an occasional series on campaign finance.

Published 1:13 am Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Staff Writer

Most, if not all, of the six candidates for Beaufort County commissioner have exceeded a $1,000 fundraising threshold requiring them to file detailed campaign reports, according to documents released Tuesday.
In a report filed Monday with the Beaufort County Board of Elections, Democratic commissioner candidate Jerry Evans of Washington listed total receipts of $3,206 in the third-quarter reporting period that ended Monday.
Evans’ campaign committee had $1,723.25 cash on hand at the end of the period.
The candidate scored $650 in contributions from individuals in the quarter.
His largest contributor was the North Carolina Realtors Political Action Committee, which sent him a $2,556 check dated Sept. 10. The PAC has given Evans’ committee a total of $4,556 this year, the report indicates.
Evans, a Realtor, has said he completed an application process with the PAC before getting any money from it.
Evans’ report listed a variety of campaign expenses, including $119.60 for business cards and $1,619.23 for campaign signs.
Unaffiliated commissioner hopeful Bertie Arnhols of Aurora reported raising $3,146.78 for her campaign in the past reporting period, or $6,106.37 during the entire campaign cycle to date.
Arnhols had to make it through a petition process and earn the right to be placed on the ballot as an unaffiliated candidate.
On Tuesday, it looked as if she had generated more campaign money than any other candidate for Beaufort County commissioner this year.
Arnhols documented $5,586.57 in campaign expenditures this election cycle, and had $519.80 cash on hand at the close of the period.
Among Arnhols’ largest expenditures were newspaper advertisements, including the costs of: $402 for ad space in the Washington Daily News, $300 in the Beaufort-Hyde News of Belhaven and $300 in the County Compass of Bayboro.
Updated reports for other candidates weren’t immediately available because they hadn’t been received or processed by elections officials.
Ed Booth, an incumbent, Democratic commissioner from Washington, had $1,943.51 cash on hand in a report filed July 19.
Al Klemm, an incumbent, Republican commissioner from Washington, said he had taken in around $3,100 this year.
“A lot of my fundraising was mostly around Washington last election, but I’ve been able to raise money around the county this time,” Klemm said. “I can generally run a good campaign on about $3,000.”
Sonya Shamseldin, a Democratic commissioner candidate from Pinetown, confirmed she also had raised more than $1,000.
Shamseldin said most of that money came out of her own pocket.
“In this economic downturn, people just don’t have the money to give the candidates,” she said.
A spending report for incumbent GOP Commissioner Stan Deatherage wasn’t immediately available Tuesday.
“We haven’t gotten to the point where we really need one yet,” Deatherage said.
He suspects he’s collected approximately $1,200 so far, and has spent more than half of that on newspaper ad buys.
Deatherage calculates he has self-funded 70 to 80 percent of his campaign.
As for fundraising in this economic climate, “It’s not one of those things that’s been easy to do,” he concluded.