Big Republican names -- including potential 2015 candidates -- among donors in 32nd House Dist. GOP primary

04/25/2014 01:18 PM

While the campaign finance reports for Republican state House District candidates Shellie May and Phil Moffett might not have eye-popping figures, the donor lists for those two read like a who’s who of Republican politics.

May — the former Jefferson County Republican Party chairwoman — and Moffett — a Republican candidate for governor in 2011 — are competing for the Republican nomination to succeed GOP Rep. Julie Raque Adams in the 32nd House District in Louisville.

Overall, May has doubled-up on Moffett’s fundraising. May raised nearly $30,000 since Jan. 1 giving her a total of $44,631 for the election and more than $34,000 in the bank for the final month before the May 20 primary. Moffett brought in just under $15,000 during the same period and has collected more than $22,099 for the election. He has $15,590 on hand.

And both have accrued big name donors, including some who are in the conversation for next year’s Republican primary for governor.

Republican Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, who is mulling the race, gave Moffett $100. Cathy Bailey — the GOP fundraiser, philanthropist and former U.S. Ambassador to Latvia who also hasn’t eliminated a run for governor — gave Moffett $1,000. Late last year, Sheila Heiner, who is married to announced candidate for governor Hal Heiner, gave May $1,000.

May’s money

May’s 34-page fundraising report filed this week, though, is packed with realtors and executives from the home building industry, many of whom live in the 32nd District. Many of those donations came in from fundriasers hosted by the Building Industry Association of Louisville, which yielded more than $11,000 for her campaign this spring.

But her latest report also includes donations from:

  • John Schnatter, CEO Of Papa Johns, $500 and his wife, Annette, $1,000
  • Bill Stone, President of Louisville Plate Glass and longtime GOP activist, $100
  • Bob Gable, former state Republican Party chairman, $100
  • Todd Inman, Owensboro insurance agent and GOP activist, $100

Her campaign, however, will have to fix the initial report because four donor’s names — including those of three elected officials — are missing and, instead, are listed on her report as “individual.”

The addresses listed for three of those individuals were associated with Rep. Ron Crimm, R-Louisville, and two Louisville Metro councilmen, Robin Engel and Glen Stuckel (Stuckel used his campaign treasurer’s address). A fourth donor listed as “individual” gave $250 and listed the occupation of “real estate” from Goshen gave $250 to May.

May said that was a clerical error when filling out the forms electronically and that Crimm, Engel and Stuckel each gave her $100 from their respective campaign accounts at fundraising events. Giving $100 from one open campaign account to another for attending fundraising events is permitted under Kentucky law.

Moffett’s money

Meanwhile, of the more than $14,000 raised, $6,000 of Moffett’s money came from those associated with the Forchts, a prominent southern Kentucky family who support Republican candidates.

Terry and Marion Forcht, who own Forcht Bank, each gave $1,000 to Moffett as did four top-ranking employees of the bank.

Moffett’s report also includes:

  • U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, for whom Moffett worked to elect in 2012, $1,000
  • Ed Martin, former libertarian congressional candidate, $300
  • Scott Reed, former Louisville Tea Party board member who unsuccessfully ran against Rep. Bob DeWeese in the 2012 GOP primary, $75
  • Rachel Ford, Republican activist from south Louisville, $1,000
  • Nick Simon, publishing house owner and GOP candidate for state representative, $100 (Simon also gave to May’s campaign last year).
  • Thomas Todd, the Pulaski County PVA, $200

Moffett said it’s not a surprise that both are attracting prominent donors.

“I think it’s logical. I did a really good job in my race in 2011 about staying on issues that are important to Kentucky. I got a lot of support from people who are not only on the tea party part of the spectrum but the more establishment part of the spectrum,” Moffett said. “And she grew up through the party infrastructure. So it’s not surprising that she has many friends.”

But, as May pointed out, the overwhelming majority of Moffett’s donors don’t live in the 32nd state House District.

“As you can tell, there are a lot of people who are on my finance report, who are not typical Republican donors,” May said. “I’m getting the support of individuals who want to seek change. These are small business owners.”

Moffett said he wasn’t worried about the difference in money because he said he believes he has an advantage in going door-to-door after starting more than seven weeks ago.

He questioned a $1,000 contribution May received from the Better Schools Kentucky PAC that is affiliated with the Jefferson County Teachers Association. Moffett, who has been a proponent of charter schools, said the support of the teacher’s union could be a negative for May among Republican primary voters who want school choice.


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.