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Campaign 2012: Sheriff leads the pack in fundraising

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

In the phase of the campaign where people vote with their checkbooks, Lane Cribb is the frontrunner. His bid for election to a sixth term as Georgetown County sheriff drew $16,671 in contributions in the first quarter, according to reports filed with the state Ethics Commission this week.

While Cribb raised more money than any other local candidate during the last quarter, he also spent more: $15,665. The largest portion of that, over $6,500 went for campaign signs. Another $247 was spent on gas putting up those signs and the campaign invested $40 for a post-hole digger.

Cribb faces a challenge in the Republican primary from Doug Dishong of Murrells Inlet, a former county deputy who now works for the Horry County Police Department. Dishong raised $3,930 during the quarter. His biggest expense, after the $2,485 filing fee, was $1,847 for signs.

Dishong had $1,000 donations from Sprinklers Plus of Garden City and Rusty Faulk, a paving contractor, from Murrells Inlet. He also got $500 from the Omar Harley Riders of Myrtle Beach. He started the new quarter with $210 on hand.

Cribb had six $1,000 contributions, including $1,000 each from Vick and Annette Deer of Plantersville and $1,000 from Campfield Farm LLC, which shares their address. Cribb has raised a total of $29,276 and has $11,667 going forward.

Darryel Carr, who is unopposed for the Democratic nomination, contributed the filing fee to his campaign. He also spent another $265 on postcards and bumper stickers, which left him with a deficit.

Stephen Goldfinch, whose fundraising and endorsements left him unchallenged as the GOP candidate in House District 108, raised $14,811 during the quarter and $30,071 overall.

Goldfinch received $1,000 from the S.C. Health Care PAC and $1,000 from Dr. Gerald Harmon, former president of the S.C. Medical Association.

He spent $12,774, with $8,266 going to Tom Swatzel’s consulting firm. Swatzel is the former county GOP chairman. The Goldfinch campaign has $5,650 on hand.

Jarrod Ownbey, who is unopposed for the Democratic Party nomination in District 108, raised $696 during the quarter, with $246 coming from his own pocket.

State Sen. Ray Cleary, who is seeking a third term in District 34, has the largest war chest: $124,990. He has raised $135,142 overall, including $1,800 in the last quarter.

Cleary is opposed in the Republican Primary by Dick Withington of Myrtle Beach, who is also a candidate for Congress and a state House seat. Withington paid the $416 filing fee with money he donated to his Senate campaign.

Alma White, a Democrat who is seeking re-election as clerk of court, raised $2,990 during the quarter, including $1,114 from herself. The rest was contributed by local attorneys.

Tammie Avant, the Republican candidate for clerk who will face White in November, loaned her campaign the $2,405 filing fee.

The quarter also saw a jump in contributions to local political parties, though the largest portion of funds came from candidate filing fees.

After forwarding those fees to the state party to pay for the primary, the county Republicans have $28,762 on hand.

The Democrats will have $8,464 left after their fees are forwarded.

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