Report shows Bennett with huge campaign war chest

Duke Bennett

Prospective Democratic challenger Karrum Nasser outraised and outspent Republican Mayor Duke Bennett in the first campaign finance reporting period for the 2019 municipal election.

But a starting balance of more than $139,000 gives the Duke Bennett for Mayor Committee a huge financial advantage, according to campaign reports for the period Jan. 1 through April 12. Bennett has no opponent in the May 7 primary. The three-term incumbent raised $2,700 and spent $875.34 during the period, giving him a balance of $141,056.52.

Nasser began the year with $137.40, raised $4,350 and spent $3,715.75, giving him a balance of $771.65. He listed campaign debts totaling $4,212.71.

Bennett's largest single contribution for the period was $1,500 from the Old National Bank Political Action Committee. He also received $500 from Accumed Billing of Riverview, Michigan, which handles billing for the city fire department ambulance service, $400 from Terre Haute resident William D. Berry and $300 from the Vigo County GOP Central Committee.

His listed expenses were $300 to the local GOP, $200 to the Terre Haute Police Department Honor Guard, $119.46 to Sam's Club for event supplies and $37.39 to Sam's Club for parade candy.

Report shows Bennett with huge campaign war chest

Karrum Nasser

The Committee to Elect Karrum Nasser listed receipts of $1,500 from Nasser and his wife, April, and $1,000 each from Carol Nasser, Richard and Delores Ahrens and Wallace Building Contractors.

Expenses were $2,055 to Run and Win, an Aiken, South Carolina, business that provides campaign advertising materials, $750 to Envisionary, a Terre Haute media production company, $320 to website creator and $228.65 to Facebook.

Nasser's listed campaign debts were $1,500 to himself and his wife, $1,112.80 to Embroidery Express, $869.91 to Sign Stop and $730 to Envisionary for video production.

Democratic mayoral candidate Robert “Superman” Hamilton listed receipts and expenses of $20 each while David “Dots” Conder filed a report listing no campaign receipts or expenses.

Independent mayoral candidate Pat Goodwin has until Aug. 5 to file his campaign finance report.

City Council candidates

A $7,500 donation of legal services from Crawford, Wagner, Gambill & Jungers means Tess Brooks-Stephens had the most contributions of any city candidate during the reporting period.

Attorney Chris Gambill represented Brooks-Stephens in a court challenge that succeeded in getting her name listed first on the Third District ballot, ahead of Cheryl Loudermilk. He also contributed $500 from the Committee to Elect Chris Gambill, which was formed for his unsuccessful 2018 state senate bid.

Brooks-Stephens listed total contributions of $9,360 and expenses of $1,750.88 for campaign materials and parade candy.

Loudermilk listed contributions of $1,303.13, expenses of $1,303.13 and debt of $1000.13 in the form of a loan from her own funds.

At-large Democrat Tammy Boland raised the second highest amount for the period among city candidates with contributions of $6,162.22, including a loan of $3,247.22 from herself and $500 from the Gambill committee. She reported expenses of $5,749.73.

Other at-large council candidates:

George Azar, D, reported a starting balance of $1,473.61, receipts of $1,250 and expenses of $1,344.87.

Ryan Carter, D, reported receipts of $1,620, including a $1,500 loan from his own funds, and expenses of $1,500.

Curtis DeBaun IV, D, reported a starting balance of $465.74, receipts of $1,142 and expenses of $1,102.76.

Don Morris, D, reported a starting balance of $521.67, contributions of $4,700 and expenses of $2,745.42, mostly repayment of a debt from his own funds.

Jase Allsup, D, and George Reedy, D, had no receipts or expenses.

Steven B. Neice, R — receipts $430, expenses $418.

James Rodenberger, Libertarian — receipts $324.23, expenses $324.23.

Other district candidates:

Amy Auler, D-1st, $900 on hand, no receipts, expenses $433.57.

Kylie Carrithers, D-1st, receipts $2,357.84, expenses $2,247.61.

Earl Elliott, D-2nd, $479 on hand, receipts $5,350, expenses $954.

Denise Hutcheson, D-2nd, receipts $1,800, expenses $1,750.

Diana Winsted-Smith, R-2nd, no receipts, expenses $2,222.26.

Todd Nation, D-4th, $120 on hand, no receipts, expenses $100.

Neil Garrison, D-5th, $1,731 on hand, no receipts, expenses $262.25.

Martha Crossen, D-6th, receipts $2,125, expenses $1,614.18.

City Clerk Michelle Edwards, a Democrat who is unopposed, reported a beginning balance of $30.34, receipts of $4,178.45 and expenses of $3,173.44.

Dave Taylor can be reached at 812-231-4299 or Follow him on Twitter @TribStarDave. 

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