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Analysis: More than $100K raised by Augusta County sheriff candidates

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Photo Credit: kentoh

Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith and Republican challenger Neil Kester are raising big bucks in their race for the position on the November ballot.

Kester has a small edge in fundraising, as of reports on activity through Sept. 30, at $58,192.65, to Smith’s $57,035.51.

Both had also spent similar amounts through the end of September: Kester $42,105.82, Smith $41,675.82.

Looking through the reports, you see a few interesting names on the donor lists.

Blue Ridge Lumber founder John Root contributed $2,000 to the Smith re-election campaign, while Blue Ridge Lumber president Tom Sheets has given $200 to the Kester campaign.

Scott Cline, a former Augusta County Republican Party official who has been connected to a series of ads blasting Smith, has given the Kester campaign $3,298.15 to date, with the last donation having been made on July 12, according to a Kester campaign filing with the State Board of Elections.

Staunton Sheriff Matthew Robertson has also given the Kester campaign two donations, totaling $580.

Derek Almarode, who ran for sheriff in 2015, in a three-way race including Smith and Kester, has given the Kester campaign $190.

Dickie Bell, a former Staunton City Councilman who is retiring this year as the state delegate representing the 20th House District, has given the Smith campaign a $500 donation.

Lexington National Insurance Corp., a Lutherville, Md.,-based insurance and bond company, is listed as a $1,000 donor to the Smith campaign.

A local bail bondsman, Dave Bourne, is a regional development manager for Lexington National Insurance Corp.

Bourne ran unsuccessfully for the 20th House District Republican nomination in June.

Story by Chris Graham


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