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5 things about 2012 W.Va. campaign finance

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. Some details and tidbits about the money raised and spent by West Virginia candidates during the 2012 election cycle:

Top fundraiser

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin attracted the most contributions of any West Virginia candidate during the election cycle, raising $4.7 million. A fellow Democrat, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, followed with $3.4 million from individuals and political action committees.

Translating dollars into votes

Tomblin's GOP opponent, Bill Maloney, spent the equivalent of $9.27 on the general election for every vote he received Nov. 6, the highest figure among the statewide candidates. Tomblin was right behind him with $9.15 per vote. Secretary of State Natalie Tennant got the biggest electoral bang for her campaign bucks among those running statewide, spending about a nickel for each vote toward her successful bid for a second term.

Candidates who contributed

West Virginia's federal candidates didn't just collect campaign cash, they distributed more than $1 million of it as well. U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito disbursed the most, $459,500, giving the bulk of that to the National Republican Congressional Committee while also contributing to fellow House GOP nominees. Manchin accounted for $317,505 of the total, with nearly $190,000 going to the state Democratic Party.

Flooding the zone

Maloney's campaign spending included nearly $7,000 to pay more than 90 election workers in and around Logan County, Tomblin's home turf. Maloney had received just 567 votes in Logan County during their 2011 special election match-up for an unexpired term. This time, Maloney attracted nearly 2,400 votes -- but still lost the county to Tomblin by nearly 7,100 votes.

Don Blankenship resurfaces

Amid signs he's raising his profile after retiring as Massey Energy Co. chief executive, Don Blankenship made about $57,000 in reportable political contributions during the election cycle. West Virginia beneficiaries included the state GOP, which accepted $10,000. He contributed $5,000 to unsuccessful Republican congressional nominee Rick Snuffer, and at least $500 each to GOP legislative candidates Fred Joseph, who lost his Kanawha County race, and Cindy Frich, who won a seat representing Monongalia County.


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