In this contentious rivalry, Hatfields and McCoys are on the same side as Harris out-raises Hall

04/27/2014 04:57 PM

The Democratic 93rd state House primary in Pike and Martin counties is shaping up to be one of the most contentious of the spring as often embattled state Rep. W. Keith Hall faces his toughest challenge yet in Pike County Magistrate Chris Hall.

It’s perhaps fitting that such a rivalry is brewing in Hatfield-McCoy territory in Eastern Kentucky.

On that score, though, Harris is ahead as his campaign finance report boasts donations from five Hatfields and three McCoys.

Overall Harris has outraised Hall, amassing $57,025 to the incumbent’s $35,016. Hall also carried $5,416 over from his previous campaign fund.

But a closer look shows that more than half of Hall’s money came from his personal bank account. Hall has given his campaign more than $24,000 in three installments over the last four months.

Harris has loaned his campaign $6,000. But the challenger’s campaign finance report features more than 30 pages of donors compared to 10 individuals who gave to Hall.

Other than the money he gave his campaign, Hall received donations from notable donors including:

  • $1,000 each from state Sen. Ray Jones, D-Pikeville, and his wife, Paula
  • $1,000 each from Greg May, owner of Utility Management Group, and his wife Menette
  • $1,000 from Lawrence Chimerine, a Highland Beach, Fla., business analyst and speaker
  • $1,000 from Philip Haan, a Northwest Airlines executive from St. Paul, Minn.
  • and $1,000 from a William Tourto of Mount Pleasant, S.C., although the address listed on Hall’s report for Tourto belongs to a developer, Thomas True, who was recently sentenced to nine years in prison for a bizarre extortion case.

Notable donors to Harris include:

  • $1,000 from Jim Cauley, the Pike County native and Democratic consultant who ran the 2007 campaign for Gov. Steve Beshear and the 2004 U.S. Senate race for Barack Obama
  • $1,000 from Quentin Crum, the deputy judge-executive in Martin County
  • $500 from Bill Deskins, the former Pike County judge-executive who is running again for that job this year
  • and $250 from Joseph Grossman, the CEO of Appalachian Regional Healthcare

Harris also received eight donations from residents along the Kentucky-West Virginia border with famous surnames synonymous with one of America’s great feuds. (Billy McCoy, a miner from West Virginia, gave $150; Robert McCoy, owner of an insurance firm in McCarr, gave $1,000; and Lora McCoy, a teacher from Forest Hills, gave $25; while Lori Hatifield, a health department worker from Freeburn, gave $500; Timothy Hatfield, an Appalachian Regional Hospital executive, gave $200; Cecil Hatfield, a retiree from Belfry gave $25; Judy Hatfield, a retiree from South Williamson, gave $50; and Nell Hatfield, a teacher who lives in South Williamson, Ky., but teaches in nearby Mingo County, W.Va., gave $25.)

Harris already has spent more than $24,400 in his bid to unseat Hall. Harris began airing his first ad last week.

That commercial forecast that Harris plans to hit Hall on some of the ethical issues that have dogged the seven-term incumbent from Phelps. The Legislative Ethics Commission, for instance, fined Hall for tagging coal severance tax money for a project in which one of his companies had a no-bid contract. Hall also has faced questions this spring, including about failing to disclose on his ethics disclosure form financial interests in a company that is listed under his girlfriends name, as first reported by the Frankfort State-Journal.

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