Sunday, July 13, 2014

Dems ahead in cash for controller race

Campaign funds for county’s GOP candidates not as heavy with donations, reports show.

May 11. 2013 12:06AM

By - - (570) 991-6388

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The two Democratic Luzerne County controller candidates have beefed up their campaign war chests heading into the May 21 primary, according to a review of the latest campaign finance reports due Friday.

Democratic contender Stephen A. Urban’s campaign committee — Friends of Steve Urban — had a cash balance of $535 and a $1,500 outstanding loan Urban made to the committee on May 6, the end of the campaign finance reporting period.

Urban filed a notice May 7 with the county election office indicating he was loaning another $6,000 to his committee, which would leave him with $6,535 available to spend on the campaign.

His committee spent $324 during the period. The report said Urban, a county councilman and former county commissioner, is reusing $1,000 in campaign signs from prior campaigns.

Urban’s Democratic controller opponent, Michelle Bednar, ended the reporting period with $4,866 in the bank, according to the Friends of Bednar finance report.

Bednar’s committee was infused with $9,412 in campaign contributions, including $5,000 from the IBEW PAC Voluntary Fund in Washington, D.C., and $1,000 from Robert Dwyer, Florida, of Newbridge Securities.

Several other political action committees donated to Bednar’s campaign: Bricklayers & Allied Craftsman, Harrisburg, $200; Local 44 Sheet Metal Workers, Wilkes-Barre, $250; Asbestos Workers PAC, Lanham, Md., $500; and Eastern PA Laborer’s LPL, Trexlertown, $500.

The committee spent $4,866 on campaign expenses, including $2,400 on yard signs, the report said.

Republican controller contenders Walter Griffith and Karen Ceppa-Hirko have lower balances in their campaign funds.

Griffith, the incumbent controller, ended the period with $1,249 in his campaign fund, which is under the Committee to Elect Walter L Griffith Jr.

His fund received $1,500 in donations, including $500 from Hanover Township funeral director Patrick Lehman and his wife, Jacqueline.

The committee spent $302 and carries a debt of $9,149 from Griffith’s initial controller campaign four years ago.

The Committee to Elect Karen Ceppa-Hirko for County Controller received $810 and spent $474, leaving a cash balance of $336.

Republican Kathy Dobash spent the most — $1,981 — in the race for Luzerne County Council, mostly on political signs, the finance reports show. Dobash contributed this money to her campaign.

Eleven candidates are running for council — six Republicans and five Democrats. Primary voters from each party will choose five nominees to advance to the November general election.

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