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franklin county times

Mayor ahead in cash race

By By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
May 31, 2001
Mayor John Robert Smith still maintains a commanding lead over three other mayoral candidates in the most recent round of campaign fund-raising.
Based on documents obtained by The Meridian Star, Smith, a Republican, leads his closest opponent, Independent Bill McBride, by $37,400. Smith has collected a total of $47, 694 to McBride's $10,294.
Democratic challenger William Hugh Johnson and Independent Charlie Haynes failed to file fund-raising disclosure forms by Tuesday's deadline. Johnson could not be reached for comment.
Although the forms are required to be filed with the Secretary of State's office, there is no penalty for failing to do so.
Haynes said he forgot to file the report, but said he has only raised $240 he said he's concentrating on the war at the polls.
McBride said his lower totals haven't dampened his spirit.
Smith's list of campaign contributors includes several prominent Meridian businessmen including: Glen Deweese, owner of Deweese Enterprises Inc. and Super Stop stores; E.M. "Hoot" Gipson, owner of Gipson Steel; and Tommy Dulaney, owner of Structural Steel Services Inc.
Smith also received $1,000 from a Virginia-based Republican political action organization called the New Republican Majority Fund. The organization also contributed $2,000 to Jackson mayoral candidate Daryll Neely's campaign.
While Smith's funds have come mostly from local businessmen, McBride's have mostly come from his own pocketbook; he and his wife have contributed $5,200 to the campaign.
In the contested Meridian City Council races, Ward 5 challenger Todd Vallot, an Independent, has raised a total of $600. Incumbent Bobby Smith has raised $1,650.
Ward 4 challenger John Nelson Jr., an Independent, has raised $870. Ward 4 Councilman Jesse E. Palmer Sr. did not file a disclosure report.
Ward 3 Councilman Barbara Henson has raised $2,970 for her re-election campaign. Ward 3 challenger Lee Fryery, an Independent, failed to file a disclosure report.
Municipal elections will be held Tuesday, June 5.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3226, or e-mail him at balexander@themeridianstar.com.