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Judge’s race proves to be expensive as campaigns heat up

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

As one of the most populous races for local elected positions heats up, nearly 20 candidates have filed expense reports detailing their fundraising and campaign spending.

The Democratic Party race for Caldwell County Judge, unquestionably the most widely-contested among all the races, is also proving to be a financial b

oon for area printing companies and advertising vendors, as the five candidates pour campaign funds into spreading their message and drumming up support throughout Caldwell County.

Morris Alexander, who is financing his own campaign through a series of personal loans to the campaign and has not collected any campaign contributions, is leading the way in spending. According to the finance report filed on Feb. 1, Alexander has spent $3,928.52 on his campaign. The bulk of his spending has been done locally, with more than $2,700 being spent at LasR Signs for campaign signage. He also claimed the $750 filing fee to the Caldwell County Democratic Party as a campaign expense.

James “Jimmy” Bertram has also been spending up a storm, but has reported campaign fundraising slightly greater than his expenses. As of Feb. 1, Bertram reported to have raised $3,000 in campaign contributions, while spending $2,919.24.

Like Alexander, the bulk of Bertram’s spending, around $1,000, was spent on campaign signs, which he purchased from Allied Advertising of San Marcos. Bertram has also spent $700 with Super Bee Graphics and $311 with MultiForms for printed campaign material.

Bertram’s report indicates local support in the form of several sizeable campaign contributions. To date, he said he has collected $500 each from Linda Bertram, Umesh Patel and Paul Bertram, with another $1,000 coming from John D. Bennett.

Herb Schulze did not report collecting campaign contributions, but indicated that he has spent $2,020.16 in his bid for the county’s highest office.

In addition to a $750 filing fee, Schulze’s report filed Feb. 1 indicates he spent $925.255 with Allied for campaign signs and $425 on media advertising.

Rodrigo Amaya reported collecting $401 in campaign contributions and spending $536.

The fifth candidate in the primary race, Juan Alvarez, did not have a 30-day spending report on file. Additionally, Republican candidate Tom Bonn, who is running unopposed in his party’s primary, did not file a report.

The race for Caldwell County Commissioner – Precinct Four, is also proving to be a hot topic, with Democratic Party rivals Joe Ivan Roland and Frank Estrada both reporting heavy spending and heavier fundraising.

Roland, the current incumbent, indicated he has raised $1,550, most though small cash donations at a campaign fundraiser, and has spent in the neighborhood of $1,433. Though most of his expenditures and donations were not itemized, Roland reported having received a donation of $400 from the Progressive Club.

Estrada, on the other hand, has raised $1,050 and spent $992.20. He received $300 each from George Sanchez and Martin and Pamela Mojica, and $250 from Umesh Patel.

The bulk of Estrada’s spending was at Sign Arts, where he purchased $889.82 worth of campaign signs. He also spent $61.70 with Printing Solutions for campaign materials.

Two candidates, Grady Keenan and Grant Rostig, are vying for the Republican Party’s nomination for the Precinct Four seat. While Keenan filed a report reflecting no spending, Rostig did not have a report on file.

Ken Gossett, a Republican candidate for Caldwell County Commissioner – Precinct Two, also reported heavy spending in his 30-day finance report, and fundraising to support his expenditures. Gossett said he spent $822.07 at Hardman Signs for campaign signs, and $93.60 with the Luling Newsboy and Signal for advertising. He also reported raising upwards of $1,800 in campaign contributions, with the bulk coming from a $1,000 donation from Glenda Woods.

Gossett’s primary opponent, Fred Buchholz, did not have report on file.

The Democratic Party’s candidates for the Precinct Two seat, Edward “Eddie” Moses and Gilbert Guerrero, are in heated competition for their party’s support.

Moses, to date, has raised $2,178 and spent 801.15, while Guerrero has raised $1,025 and spent $508.41. Moses reports most of his fundraising in contributions less than $200, while Guerrero reported a $1,000 contribution from BRM, LLC., d/b/a Mr. Taco. Both indicated campaign signage claimed the lion’s share of their spending.

Other candidates filing reports for the 30-day filing period were: Lori Rangel-Pompa, Armanda Maloney, Carol Holcomb, Misty Jennings, Bernie Rangel, Mark George, Mary Alice Llanas, Raymond Deleon and Alfonso Campos. Each filed a report that indicated less than $500 in spending and/or campaign contributions, which are not required to be itemized.

The next finance reporting period ends on Feb. 22, 2010.

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