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July 16, 2012

Brock Loans His Campaign $300k, and Other Surprises From Today's Campaign Filings


Updated at 8:45 a.m. with corrected figures for state auditor candidate Vince Illuzzi

There were two big surprises for those waiting at the Vermont Secretary of State's office Monday afternoon for candidates to drop off their first campaign finance reports of the election season.

The first came when Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Brock's fundraiser, Darcie Johnston, stopped by at 4:30 p.m. to file her boss's report. Brock (pictured) had raised roughly $529,000, she said — an impressive figure for a Vermont Republican challenging a popular incumbent Democrat. In fact, it was more than the $492,132 Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin raised over the past year — and not too far from the gov's total two-year haul of $679,512.

The second surprise came when the assembled reporters got their mitts on Brock's actual filing. Turns out the Franklin County state senator raised just $229,596 from actual donors — and loaned himself a whopping $300,000.

That's gotta be almost enough to pay for Shummy's Titanic-Care plan!

With less than four months until election day, the gov has $602,544 cash-on-hand. So far, he's spent $76,967 on his non-campaign for reelection. Brock, on the other hand, has been spending up a storm: $282,269 on his only-months-old campaign. That's only $53,000 more than he's raised from people whose names are not Randy Brock.

In other topline news from today's filings:

  • Chittenden County State's Attorney T.J. Donovan performed the nearly-impossible: he outraised the (not-so-) entrenched incumbent, Attorney General Bill Sorrell, in their contest for the Democratic nomination for AG. Donovan raised $129,710 and spent $39,557, leaving him with $90,153 in the bank. Sorrell, meanwhile, raised just $92,536 and spent $37,631, leaving him with only $54,905. Their eventual opponent, Republican businessman Jack McMullen did not raise any money, but he loaned himself $4641.
  • Democratic State Treasurer Beth Pearce, who was appointed to the position in January 2011 and who has never run for public office, dominated her opponent, Republican Wendy Wilton, the Rutland City treasurer and a former state senator. Pearce raised $83,946 and spent $33,507 of it. Wilton raised $15,970 and spent $4992.
  • Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott raised $31,409 for his campaign to hold on to the state's number two job, while Democratic and Progressive challenger Cassandra Gekas raised $7785.
  • Republican Sen. Vince Iluzzi, who is running for the open state auditor's seat, reported raising $56,641 $31,641, though $17,621 of that came from his state senate and state's attorney campaign accounts and $25,000 came from a personal loan to his campaign. Democratic and Progressive opponent Doug Hoffer, raised $10,240.

There's a lot more to unpack here. We'll be writing more about the filings in this week's Fair Game column and, if we get around to it, right here on Blurt. You can also read our previous posts on Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign finance report, as well as Congressman Peter Welch's.

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