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