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District 108: Miller got the cash, Goldfinch got the votes

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

Candidates for state House District 108 spent over $155,000 on the campaign, over $10 for each vote cast. And while Rep. Stephen Goldfinch won 57 percent of the vote, it was his opponent who had the edge in fundraising with a late infusion of donations from political action committees, according to campaign disclosure reports filed last week.

Goldfinch raised over $72,000 in his campaign for a second term, and he spent most of it in the month before the election.

The Murrells Inlet Republican took in just over $5,800 in the two and a half weeks before the election. That included $1,000 donations from Grand Strand Healthcare and Covenant Dove, a nursing home company based in Tennessee; $750 donation from International Paper; and $500 from the state Outdoor Advertising Association. After the election, he got $999 from the state Automobile Dealers Association.

Goldfinch spent $40,820 through Nov. 26, with $31,170 going to Starboard Communications, a consulting firm in Lexington. The firm got a $5,000 bonus because Goldfinch won. He spent $70,832 overall.

Vida Miller, a Pawleys Island Democrat who held the seat for 14 years, raised $17,478 in the final weeks and $79,400 overall. She spent just over $85,000.

Miller received $1,000 donations from two political action committees of the S.C. Association for Justice, which represents trial lawyers. She also got $1,000 from the S.C. Equality PAC, an advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and Ready for Hillary, a “super PAC” promoting Hillary Clinton’s run for president in 2016. She also received donations from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers ($500), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers ($500) and the state AFL-CIO ($250).

Her biggest expenditure ($47,740) was to the Strategy Group of Evanston, Ill., which provided direct mail services.

The filings also show the Georgetown County GOP spent $2,388 on mailings and paid $1,906 to an ad agency for the 2014 campaign, which included races for governor and Senate. It also reimbursed the party chairman, Randy Hollister, $199 for an elephant mascot suit.

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