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Most expensive race ever

December 19, 2012
By TOM GIAMBRONI - Staff Writer ( , Morning Journal News

LISBON - Money may not buy you happiness but it sure comes in handy if you're running for elected office. Just ask the candidates running for office in the Nov. 6 election.

Last week was the filing deadline for post-election campaign finance reports, and winners outspent losers in four of the six contested county and state races.

Only in the race for state representative and Columbiana County treasurer were the eventual winners outspent by the loser during the final three weeks of the campaign, which is the period covered by the post-election reports.

As expected, the most expensive race was for state representative, where incumbent Republican Craig Newbold reported spending $276,700 during the final weeks. Democratic challenger Nick Barborak, who spent $185,838, won a close race, unseating Newbold 50.6 percent to 49.4 percent.

The great majority of funding for both candidates came from their state political party organizations.

Newbold spent $231,446 in his pre-election campaign finance report to Barborak's $107,518, for a combined $801,502, making it by far the most expensive race in county history.

Democrat Linda Bolon went on to an easy victory in the race for county treasurer - 56.4 percent to 43.6 percent - despite being outspent by Republican challenger Eldena Gearhart $11,306 to $8,099.

Following is a list of the other campaign finance reports by race. In all of these races the winners outspent the losers:

Not surprisingly, the biggest spending occurred in the U.S. representative 6th District race, which is subject to a federal reporting period that is different than the other races.

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, and Democrat challenger and former congressman Charlie Wilson spent a combined $3.56 million during the final federal reporting period - $1.99 million for Johnson to Wilson's $1.57 million. Johnson won a second term, defeating Wilson 53.2 percent to 46.8 percent.

During the three weeks prior to the election, the county Republican Party outspent the Democrat Party by a 3-1 margin - $34,759 to $10,612.



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