Behind the scenes of State Senate fundraising numbers for open seats

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Numbers don’t lie. Well… sometimes when it comes to campaigns they do. When you’re just given a “cash on hand” total that figure can be deceiving. Any expert worth their salt will tell you that the devil is in the details. So below is a breakdown of some of the races for Alabama’s open Senate seats.

With nine of the 26 Senate Republicans not running for re-election, either to retire or seek higher office, there’s a lot at play and a lot at stake this election. In addition to those nine, one lone Democrat, Sen. Hank Sanders has also announced his retirement and his daughter, Malika Sanders-Fortier, will run in his place.

Since January’s campaign finance reports were recently filed, here’s a deeper look at “open” Senate seats up for grabs this year — who’s running, what their spending money on, how much they’re paying consultants, and how much cash they have on hand as they went into February.

Here’s who’s running for the “open seats:” (candidates listed in order of total cash on hand):

Senate District 2

Incumbent Bill Holtzclaw retiring

  • Tom Butler (R): $44,640.09
  • Amy Wasyluka (D): $7,081.60
    • Largest campaign expenditure to date: $493.77​ to Allied Digital Printing​
  • Steve Smith (R): $1,085.56 PAYPAL 2145 HAMILTON
    • Largest campaign expenditure to date: $29.30 to Paypal
  • Michael Smith (D): $1,074.86
    • Self-loaned campaign $2,000 on Jan. 25, 2018

Senate District 7

Incumbent Paul Sanford retiring

  • Mary Scott Hunter (R): $227,045
    • Donated $190,457.66 on Oct. 3, 2017 from Mary Scott Hunter Lt. Gov Committee
    • Consultant cost to date: $32,578.09 total —> $6,000.55 (Beshears Solutions); $13,887 (Leverage Public Strategies); $2,050 (Vickie Gesellschap); $8,669.54 (Alexander Cooksey); $971 (Todd Powers); $1,000 (Vulpes Et Leo)
    • Largest campaign expenditure to date: $3,700.00​ to Advictory​
  • Johnathan Hard (D): $4,367.15
    • Consultant cost to date: $650 (Red Brick Strategies)
    • Largest campaign expenditure to date: $404.39​ to Tennessee Valley Sign​
  • Sam Givhan (R): $127,892
  • Deborah Barros (D): $0

Senate District 10

Incumbent Phil Williams retiring (Assumed office in 2010)

  • Mack Butler (R): $140,757
    • Self-loaned campaign $100,000 on Aug. 28, 2017
    • Donated $638.10 on Aug. 28, 2017 from Committee to Elect Mack Butler
    • Consultant cost to date: $44,692.90 (Master Image Inc.)
    • Largest campaign expenditure to date: $3269.70​ to C&D Catering​
  • Andrew Jones (R): $3,472.56
    • Self-loaned campaign: $6,000 total —> $50 on Oct. 31, 2017; $950 on Dec. 20, 2017;  $5,000 on Jan. 1, 2018
    • Largest campaign expenditure to date: $829.64 to Vistaprint
  • Craig Ford (I): $0

Senate District 13

Incumbent Gerald Dial running for Ag Commissioner (Assumed office in 2010)

  • Randy Price (R): $64,041
    • Self-loaned campaign $334.72 on Sept. 30, 2017
    • Consultant cost to date: $4,789.40 (Politically Correct Consulting)
    • Largest campaign expenditure to date: $5,000 to Sinclair Broadcasting
  • Mike Sparks (R): $18,840
    • Self-loaned campaign: $2,288.25 total —> $1004.25; $245.00; $1039.00
  • Tim Sprayberry (R): $5,110.81
    • Self-loaned campaign: $2,986.28 total —> $634.05 on Sept. 29, 2017; $1028.39 on Oct. 31, 2017; $642.94 on Nov. 30, 2017; $680.90 on Dec. 29, 2017
    • Largest campaign expenditure to date: $120 to Bama Carry/Chambers County
  • Darrell Turner (D): $0

Senate District 15

Incumbent Slade Blackwell retiring (Assumed office in 2010)

Senate District 25

Incumbent Dick Brewbaker retiring (Assumed office in 2010)

  • Charles “Will” Barfoot (R): $73,561.59
    • Self-loaned campaign: $50,000 on June 30, 2017
    • Consultant cost to date: $18,302 (Virtus Solutions)
    • Largest campaign expenditure to date: $3,289.00 at Boosters Incorporated
  • Ronda Walker (R): $37,543.88
    • Donated $7,156.54 on June 30, 2017 from Ronda Walker for County Commissioner fund
    • Gave self loan of $10,000 on June 30, 2017
    • Consultant cost to date: $7,340.02 total —> $2,974.27 (Newman and Associates); $1,865.75 (Alexander Cooksey); $2,500.00 (Leverage Public Strategies)
    • Largest campaign expenditure to date: $1,422.47 at Simply Mac
  • David A. Sadler (D): $0
  • Frank Snowden (D): $0

Senate District 32

Incumbent Trip Pittman retiring (Assumed office in 2007)

  • David Northcutt (R): $215,089.91
    • Self-loaned campaign: $73,000 total —> $19,000 on May 16, 2017; $3,000 on June 7, 2017; $50,000 on June 30, 2017; $1,000 on Nov. 22, 2017
    • Consultant cost to date: $6,425.24 (Red State Strategies)
    • Largest campaign expenditure to date: $1,969.28 to Postmark Inc.
  • Bill Roberts (R): $68,411.41
    • Self-loaned campaign $50,000 on July 31, 2017
    • Donated $28,298.32 on June 17, 2017 from the Bill Roberts Representative Campaign
    • Largest campaign expenditure to date: $2,834.00 to Action Printing
  • Chris Elliott (R): $44,662.63
    • Consultant cost to date: $20,043.63 total —> $8,640 (Catalyst and Associates); $11,403.63(Strategy Inc.)
    • Largest campaign expenditure to date: $501.22 to Boost Promotional Branding
  • Jeff Boyd (R): $38,315.39
    • Self-loaned campaign: $1,333.64 total —> $631.52 on June 15, 2017; $702.12 on June 26, 2017
    • Largest contributor Russell Robinson: $25,000
    • Largest campaign expenditure to date: $3,034.82 to Sign Man

Senate District 34

Incumbent Rusty Glover running for Lt. Governor (Assumed office in 2006)

  • Jack Williams (R): $190,942.26
    • Self-loaned campaign $100,000 on July 6, 2017
    • Consultant cost to date: $1,760.00 (Interstate Solutions)
    • Largest campaign expenditure to date: $5,793.85 to Interstate Printing and Graphics Inc. (owned by Interstate Solutions)
      • Currently serves as Alabama State Representative for District 102
  • Mark Shirey (R): $8,773.44
    • Self-loaned campaign $500 on Nov. 21, 2017
    • Consultant cost to date: $6,230.30 (Red State Strategies)
    • Largest campaign expenditure to date: $4,683.40 to ABC Signs and Shirts

Senate District 35

Incumbent Bill Hightower running for Governor (Assumed office in 2013)

  • David Sessions (R): $133,124.09
    • Donated $32,011.07 on Oct. 2, 2017 from the David Sessions State Representative Committee
    • Consultant cost to date: $11,212.84 (Strategy Inc.)
    • Largest campaign expenditure to date: $49 to USPS
    • Currently serves as Alabama State Representative for District 105
  • Tom Holmes (D): $4,897.26
    • Largest campaign expenditure to date: $1,205.60 at Griffice Printing Company


*Largest campaign expenditure to date excludes candidate qualifying fees