The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
CAMPAIGN 2013: See how spending stacks up in city’s contested races
Incumbent Sheriff Paul W. Higgs had the biggest campaign coffer among candidates in Fredericksburg’s contested races for Tuesday’s election.
He raised $26,029 compared to challenger Ron Swaney’s $11,314, according to the latest campaign finance reports, which were due on Monday.
In the race for city treasurer, Brenda Wood had raised $11,811 compared to Rita Girard’s $7,685 as of Monday’s reporting.
Higgs’ contributions exceeding $100 included $300 from the campaign fund of Stafford County Sheriff Charlie Jett and $225 from city School Board member Malvina Kay, who is serving as his campaign treasurer.
Higgs, 59, who has been in office for 14 years, is being challenged by Swaney, 48, who is in community policing with the Fredericksburg Police Department.
Swaney’s campaign is financed chiefly through family money.
His brother, Donald Swaney of Pennsylvania, gave $1,000 personally and another $1,000 through his company, Vermin Control. In addition, he had loaned the campaign more than $4,000 as of Monday, thus accounting for more than half of the campaign’s funds.
Lisa Swaney, the candidate’s wife, contributed $2,000 and was owed more than $550.
The campaign owes Ron Swaney nearly $850.
Swaney’s campaign spent $6,769.47 on campaign-related items including $1,392.70 for embroidered polo shirts, T-shirts and baseball caps.
As of Monday’s report, the campaign claimed a balance of $4,544.97 but had outstanding debt of $5,481.62.
Higgs’ biggest expense was a golf tournament that included a silent auction. Items for the silent auction were donated, including gift cards for tattoos at three city parlors.
The cost to rent the Lee’s Hill Golf Club in Spotsylvania County was $3,525.18.
As of Monday’s report, Higgs claimed a balance of $14,002.73, though he owed himself $3,825.51.
The city treasurer’s race is a contest between two newcomers to politics.
Rita Girard, 60, has spent the past four years as office manager for city Commonwealth’s Attorney LaBravia Jenkins.
Brenda Wood, 58, has spent the past four years as chief deputy to city Treasurer G.M. “Jim” Haney.
Wood had 14 contributors who gave more than $100 to her campaign compared to six contributors in that category for Girard.
Wood’s contributors include current treasurer Haney ($1,000), his son Matt Haney ($200), and his daughter Beverly Haney ($500).
Ron Rosner, principal of Rosner Automotive Group, gave Wood $500. Two attorneys representing the city in its efforts to recover overdue taxes from former Gov. Doug Wilder and the U.S. National Slavery Museum also contributed. John Rife and Jeffrey Scharf of Taxing Authority Consulting Services of Midlothian gave $150 and $200, respectively.
Former City Council member Debby Girvan gave $200 to Wood’s campaign and made a $200 in-kind contribution through her marketing consulting business, Flair Communication.
Girard’s top contributors included brothers Alex Girard of Michigan, who gave $200, and David Girard of California, who gave $1,000. Commonwealth’s Attorney Jenkins contributed $200.
Girard also received a $3,500 loan from brother-in-law Carl Little, who lives in the city.
Girard’s spending was 40 percent of Wood’s as of Monday’s reporting.
Wood had spent $9,035 compared to Girard’s $3,738. However, Girard had more on hand to spend at that point: $3,947 compared to Wood’s $2,776. Girard’s balance was apart from the debt for the loan.
Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972