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Two Putnam candidates lead opponents in raising campaign funds

WINFIELD, W.Va. -- A Republican candidate for sheriff and a Republican candidate for circuit judge have raised a lot more money than their opponents in the Putnam County primary election.

Steve Deweese, of Scott Depot, who ended his career as a Putnam deputy a year ago to run for sheriff, has raised $12,000 in contributions, according to financial statements in the county clerk's office.

Challenger Rick Parsons, of Hurricane, a former Charleston policeman and bar owner, has raised $3,894.

Donations to Deweese's campaign have come from 105 people compared to the 16 who have given Parsons money.

Both candidates are former Democrats who changed parties -- Parsons in May 2011 and Deweese in May 2010.

Democrat sheriff candidate Bud Lett, of Fraziers Bottom, a former DEA agent and currently the Kenova police chief, has raised $9,100.

A lot of Deweese's money has come from two fundraising events he held last year. Parsons and Lett have not held events.

Parsons has spent $7,551 and loaned himself $9,322, according to financial statements. Deweese has spent $15,144 and loaned $2,000 to his campaign. Lett has spent $5,4182.

Campaign donations can now be made to circuit judge candidates in the county. The election for circuit judge is being held to fill the remaining term of longtime Putnam Circuit Judge O.C. Spaulding, who retired at the end of last year. He did not accept campaign contributions.

Republican circuit judge candidate Joseph K. "Joe" Reeder, a Hurricane attorney, has raised $22,357 in contributions -- exceptionally more than his party's competitor and any Democratic candidate.

Reeder has loaned his campaign $15,000 and held two fundraising events -- one at Valley Park in Hurricane and another at the law offices of Tiano & O'Dell in Charleston, where he was given $14,600. The majority of his contributors are attorneys.

He has also outspent other candidates by thousands of dollars. He has spent $23,639 on his campaign -- $19,878 of it at Mountain Communications for TV and radio spots and direct mailers, among other things, he reported.

Republican Edward Eagloski reported $9,250 in campaign contributions and has spent $1,500 of his own money on campaign signs, according to campaign finance statements.

Eagloski is a former circuit judge, who was defeated by Judge Phillip Stowers in the 2008 election,

His major contributions are from John E. Sutter, a Charleston attorney, and his wife Harriet, who both contributed $1,000. Putnam Bank President J.R. Wilson and Elias Haikal, a Nitro physician, both donated $500. Former Kanawha prosecutor Bill Forbes and Thomas Petit, an Ona attorney, each donated $500. Former Putnam schools superintendent Sam Sentelle donated $50 to his campaign.

Democratic circuit judge candidate Bob Leslie, a Hurricane attorney, has raised $18,850 in campaign contributions and spent $9,140 on his campaign -- mostly on signs, postage and printing.

Leslie held fundraisers at the Frederick Hotel in Huntington where he accumulated $1,700, and at the law firm of Mani Ellis & Layne in Charleston where he received $4,400, mainly from attorneys.

Former state Sen. Oshel Craigo, CEO of the Tudor's Biscuit World chain, and Nitro attorney Harvey Peyton both donated $1,000 to his campaign, among others.

Democratic candidates Rosalee Juba-Plumley, of Poca, and David Hill, of Hurricane, both attorneys, have raised the least amount of all candidates in their race.

Juba-Plumley's only donation of $1,000 came from J.R. Wilson, president of Putnam County Bank. She has spent $7,580 on newspaper ads and "robo" calls, among other things. She spent $2,280 on billboards and $742 on magnets, according to her finance report.

She has loaned her campaign around $37,000 from her personal accounts, she reported.

Hill donated $773 to himself and received one $20 donation. He spent the $773 on campaign signs.

Early voting at the Putnam County Courthouse ends at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Election Day is May 8.

Reach Kate White at kate.white@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.


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