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Judge candidates top January donations, spending


Last updated 2/13/2018 at Noon

Dave Rogers

For The Record

Political newcomer Dean Crooks’ campaign continues as the big spender while his opponent in the March 6 Republican Primary, County Judge Stephen Brint Carlton, picked up the most donor dollars in the latest reporting period.

Carlton scored a total of $6,000 in monetary and in-kind contributions in the period between Jan. 1 and Jan. 25 – including a couple of $2,500 contributions from Bridge City attorney Jay Tantzen and Orange native Colin Garrett, owner of Beaumont’s G&G Enterprises Construction -- according to filings with the County Elections Administration Office.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Barry Burton also picked up a $2,500 contribution from the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 450 to help in his race against challenger Theresa Beauchamp.

Meanwhile, Crooks, a retired Beaumont police lieutenant, has reported spending $13,400 so far in his pursuit of the $105,000 per year job as the county’s top official. He listed $8,500 in campaign spending in the Jan 1-25 report.

Crooks has spent nearly $12,000 on advertising, such as newspapers, yard signs and billboards.

Unlike Carlton and Burton, Crooks has yet to land a big donor. So far, he’s listed only two contributions, each for $100.

He reported a $5,000 personal loan on his January report.

“I’m accepting donations, but I’m not pushing for them,” Crooks said. “I’m running a grassroots kind of campaign. I actually enjoy the fact I’m financing the campaign on my own.”

Carlton listed just $90 in expenses in his Jan. 25 filing. In his earlier report, he listed a $1,000 carryover from his 2014 campaign and a $854 personal loan. He added a $73 personal loan in January.

The county judge’s reports show he’s received $6,000 in contributions and spent just $944 in his re-election bid, as of Jan. 25.

The Carlton yard signs that have been up for weeks are leftovers from his 2014 campaign, the judge said Monday. He added that new “Re-Elect Carlton” signs were purchased after Jan. 25 and will be up soon.

Burton filed an amended 2017 report, showing he spent $1,750 prior to Jan. 1, including nearly $900 for advertising. Overall, he collected $4,400 in contributions and spent about $2,600 through Jan. 25.

He shows $4,500 remaining in his campaign war chest as of Jan. 25.

Beauchamp, Burton’s opponent, received $200 in political contributions in the first 25 days of January and spent $553, mostly for advertising.

That’s about $3,900 in campaign spending for Beauchamp, who hasn’t taken but the $200 in donations through the January reporting period.

Vidor Mayor Robert Viator, who is challenging two-term incumbent Jody Crump for the Precinct 4 Commissioner seat, reported only $93 in donations and $916 in campaign expenses, all on advertising, through Feb. 5.

He had taken in $3,200 in contributions during the campaign, spending $4,000.

Crump showed January contributions of $1,250, including $750 from Michael Judy of Mauriceville, and expenditures of $1,600, all on advertising.

Crump’s campaign had listed total contributions of $1,250 so far against $2,500 in spending.

The county’s other contested local race March 6 will be for County Treasurer, with incumbent Christy Khoury facing David W. Smith.

Khoury, whose filings show two donations totaling $700 to go with a $1,000 personal loan, spent $951 on advertising plus a $750 filing fee.

Smith lists no contributions on his Jan. 15 report and $1,021 in expenses, $271 on advertising, the rest for the filing fee.

Hershel Stagner, Jr., Justice of the Peace Precinct 1, doesn’t have an opponent in March but faces a Democratic challenger, Gail Barnett, in November’s general election.

Stagner lists expenses of $3,500, with a $375 filing fee the only non-advertising purchase, against $1,000 in contributions. J. Michael Claybar Jr., of Austin contributed the $1,000.

Barnett has not filed a financial report yet; none is required before July for candidates who are not on a primary ballot and who don’t exceed $500 in contributions or expenditures.

Early voting runs from Feb. 20 to March 2.


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