Campaign reports show Brewer raising, spending most among local candidates

While candidates and office holders in city council and school board  races were required by state law to report their political contributions and expenditures April 12, many failed to file the required documents, according to information obtained by The Independent in Open Records Requests.

In three races for Liberty Hill school trustee where two places are contested, no one filed campaign finance reports and no one filed the report designating a campaign treasurer.

Some city council candidates filed documents showing they were following a Modified Reporting schedule in which they declared they would accept less than $500 in contributions and spend less than $500.

According to state law, candidates choosing Modified Reporting were required to file the necessary declaration by April 12. If at any point the limits are exceeded, the candidate is required to report all contributions and expenditures.

Those who filed Modified Reporting declarations included Charles Canady, the incumbent in Place 4; Carrie Van Meeteren, a candidate for Place 4; Elizabeth Branigan, a candidate for Place 5; and Della Hodgson, a candidate for Place 2.

In the Liberty Hill City Council election where 12 candidates are vying for four positions on the May 12 election ballot, only three filed detailed reports showing the source of their contributions and their campaign expenses.

Of those, Vicki Brewer, who is seeking the Place 2 position on the Council, reported raising the most money of any candidate for public office in Liberty Hill. From Feb. 22 through April 12, she reported receiving $1,158 in contributions and spent $836.31.

Mrs. Brewer’s largest contribution came from Corey and Jamie Ross, pastors of Williamson County Cowboy Church, who contributed $300. Corey Ross also gave an additional $258.

Mrs. Brewer’s report shows she received $100 contributions each from the following: Roger Sassman of Austin (retired US Army National Guard); Frank and Norma Jean Spinosa of Liberty Hill (owner, Spinosa/Rowland Ins Agency);  Clyde and Janette Davis of Liberty Hill (RE/MAX); and John and Vicki Brewer of Liberty Hill (owners of Victory Glass). She reported receiving $50 from STR Constructors Ltd. of Liberty Hill. The report also shows an unidentified contribution from Brian and Kim Fuller{sic} of Liberty Hill, owners of Cat Trax.

Listed among her expenditures were an undisclosed amount for campaign signs purchased at Affordable Signs in Georgetown; $38.75 for sign hardware purchased at Home Depot in Georgetown; $392.94 for advertising expenses at DigiTex Printing in Liberty Hill; $35.87 for supplies for signs at Winkley’s in Liberty Hill; $29.50 for checks at Prosperity Bank in Liberty Hill; $50 at HEB in Leander for “solicitation expense and $2.78 for food/beverage at HEB in Leander.”

Wendell McLeod, who is seeking the Place 4 position on the Council, reported receiving $300 in contributions and spending $135.31.

McLeod reported contributions of $100 each from Clyde Davis, Frank Spinosa and Kim Butler.

His report shows an expenditure of $135.31 to DigiTex Printing for campaign cards and a banner.

While mayoral candidate Jack Harkrider filed a Modified Reporting declaration, he later amended the report to show a list of contributions and expenditures.

Harkrider reported receiving $75 from Jimmy and Janet Oliver of Liberty Hill. His report shows expenditures totaling $103 for printing at DigiTex Printing.

Sammy Pruett, who is seeking the Place 5 seat on the Council reported receiving $485 in contributions, but  did not file the required Schedule A showing a list of donors. Pruett reported no expenditures.

Mayoral candidate Jamie Williamson reported receiving no political contributions. She reported expenditures of $92.01, but did not itemize the purchases.

Michele “Mike” Murphy, who is seeking the Place 2 position, and Jim Wofford, a candidate for Place 5, both filed reports showing no contributions or expenditures.

There was no report of any kind provided by the City for candidate Liz Rundzieher, who is seeking the Place 5 seat.

The next reporting deadline for city and school races is May 4.

State laws regarding campaign finance reporting in local elections may be found on the Texas Ethics Commission website.