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Candidates raise, spend little in quiet election cycle

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Indiana's 2014 election cycle may lack the marquee battles of two years ago, but candidates are still racking up dollars ahead of November's elections.

Candidates facing off for the state treasurer, auditor and secretary of state's offices had an average of a few hundred thousand dollars on hand each through the latest filing period, which ended at the start of the month. In the three statewide races, Republicans hold an easy fundraising edge over their Democratic opponents.

Republican Secretary of State Connie Lawson ended the period with $525,000 in cash on hand, compared with Democratic opponent Beth White's $195,000.

Republican Auditor Suzanne Crouch had $336,000 in the bank compared with Democrat Mike Claytor's $57,000. And the Republican candidate for treasurer, Kelly Mitchell, had $58,000 in the bank compared with Democrat Mike Boland's $292.

The story's the same in the state House and Senate races. The latest reports had not yet been filed by the House and Senate campaign committees, but numbers tallied through April give a good idea where each campaign stands. House Republicans began April with $1.2 million in the bank and Democrats entered the stretch with $431,000. In the Senate, Republicans began April with $1 million in the bank and Democrats had $150,000 socked away.

"You have to have enough money. You don't have to have the most money, and the money needs to come at the right time," said Andy Downs, director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

At this point in the campaign, most candidates are still identifying who their supporters are and where they need to be targeting their messages, Downs said. Midterm elections, like this year's, won't draw huge fundraising tallies, he said, but candidates will still be looking for targeted spending on mailers and other items.

One of the more novel expenditures this cycle came from Crouch, who spent $16,000 on signs and red-rimmed plastic glasses. Crouch's supporters sported the glasses at the Republican Party convention in Fort Wayne last month.

The 2014 election cycle has been remarkably tame compared to just two years ago, which saw intense competitions over a U.S. Senate seat and the governor's office.

The high-profile battles translated into major spending from Republicans and Democrats, who flooded the airwaves with advertising.

The only state candidate to go up on air this cycle was House Education Chairman Robert Behning, R-Indianapolis, who was facing what appeared to be a tough primary battle earlier this year. Behning handily won his May primary challenge. Downs said not to expect much in the way of television advertising this cycle.

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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