Both Joy Jones and Susan Doyle have raised upwards of $30,000 in the quest for the district attorney’s position, making it the biggest-spending political campaign in Johnston County this year.
In the race for sheriff and register of deeds, the challengers have raised significantly more than the incumbents so far, though without a primary this week, those campaigns have just begun.
The large number of candidates vying for school board seats appears to have limited fundraising in that race, with only two candidates, Strickland and Lisa Klisiewecz planning to raise more than $3,000 — the amount requiring disclosure forms.
The data comes from campaign finance forms filed last week with the North Carolina and Johnston County boards of elections. Johnston elections director Leigh Anne Price said all the candidates got their first-quarter reports in on time. “They did good this year,” she said.
District attorney’s race: By mid-April, Doyle led the fundraising totals in the highly publicized Republican primary race with $38,635 to Jones’ $30,258.92. Jones, a Smithfield attorney in private practice, was attempting to unseat Doyle, the incumbent.
Most of Jones’ biggest donors were private-practice attorneys. Doyle got her largest contributions from business owners, family members and her own staff members throughout the district.
The following people donated $1,000 or more to the Jones campaign: Clayton lawyer Elizabeth Carter, Benson lawyer John Ivey Jr., Clinton lawyers L.D. Starling Jr. and Douglas Parsons and Smithfield attorneys Vann Sauls, Frank Wood and Stephen Woodard Jr.
Sauls was one of the attorneys who pled guilty in the DWI-fixing scandal earlier this year. Several of his family members and co-workers also gave to the Jones campaign. But Jones said there’s nothing inappropriate about his donation since he’s not currently allowed to practice law. She said the donation likely stems from a lifelong friendship.
“Our families have grown up together,” she said.
Jones also got a $100 donation from Ed Roach. Roach is the N.C. Department of Insurance investigator who’s worked on the case of Mark Hall, the former Smithfield financial adviser charged with fraud. Jones is Hall’s court-appointed attorney. Roach said he gave because he’s gotten to know Jones through the case; he resides in Carteret County and has little connection to local politics.
“I’ve had a good working relationship with her,” Roach said. “She’s been very helpful and forthright.”
The following people donated $1,000 or more to Doyle’s campaign: Ralph Hodge of Wilson, Dunn lawyer Caron Stewart, assistant district attorney Paul Jackson, Smithfield pawn shop owner James Lassiter, Frank Lee of Smithfield, Raymond Doyle of Cary, Wayne Dale of Clayton, Robert Buzzard of Lillington, Trudy Hales of Clayton, Hunter Olive of Smithfield, Rebecca Riley of Smithfield, William Riley of Clayton and Scott Lockamy of Dunn.
The winner of Tuesday’s primary will face Democrat George Murphy of Benson in November.
Sheriff’s race: By mid-April, former state trooper Gerry Mouzon had raised almost seven times as much as incumbent Steve Bizzell, though without a primary, the race has been low key so far. Mouzon gathered $14,818.32 in donations; Bizzell garnered $2,159.54.
Much of Bizzell’s total came from himself and several smaller donors; Scott Lockamy of Dunn gave $1,000.
The following donated $1,000 or more to Mouzon’s campaign: Dell Richards of Willow Spring, Coates Hauling and Grading owner Michael Coates of Willow Spring, Manuel Cruz of Clayton and Cleveland Medicap Pharmacy owner Lance Wheeler.
School board race: Incumbent board chairman Strickland led fundraising in this race with $3,421. He received $500 from Pine Level Town Market owner Billy Daughtry, but much of his total stemmed from smaller donations.
Klisiewecz raised $1,749, with her biggest donation a $1,000 check from W.A. Holland of Smithfield.
The other nine school board candidates did not plan to raise more than $3,000 and were not required to file disclosure forms.
Register of deeds’ race: Challenger Donald Byrd of McGee’s Crossroads raised a bit more than incumbent Craig Olive, with $1,050 to Olive’s $688.23.
About half of Byrd’s total came from Pine Level Commissioner Jimmy Garner’s N.C. House campaign fund. Garner, who ran unsuccesfully for that office in 2008, is serving as Byrd’s treasurer.
Olive received $480 from Jerry Brown of Clayton and $100 from County Commissioner Cookie Pope.