If money tells the tale, there are clear frontrunners for the Floyd County Sheriff’s race, but Republican and Democratic Party leaders believe it takes more than raising the most campaign funds to win an election.
Republican candidate Frank Loop reported raising more than $14,000 during the last contribution period, which ran from Jan. 1 through April 11. He started the period with just less than $26,000 on hand, providing him with almost $40,000 in funds to utilize for his campaign.
Loop had about $17,000 more to use than the next highest fundraiser, Democratic candidate Brad Striegel.
Between cash-on-hand and funds raised during the period, Striegel reported having collected $22,887 as of April 11.
Republican candidate Steve Bush filed $13,513 in campaign contributions at the end of the period, and Democrat Jeff Topping had $5,711.
Considered by many to be the highest profile race in Floyd County on Tuesday, the four are vying to replace Darrell Mills.
Though Loop and Striegel have considerable campaign fund advantages over their competition, party leaders said Friday that elections, especially locally, aren’t always swayed by who has the most money to spend on marketing and advertisements.
“The financials are important but financials in of themselves are not always an indicator of who wins,” Floyd County Party Chairman Adam Dickey said.
In a rare case of harmony between Republicans and Democrats heading into an election, Floyd County Republican Party Chairman Dave Matthews agreed with Dickey about fundraising.
Naturally if a candidate is opposed in the primary, they’re going to seek more funding for their campaign, he said.
“The amount of money that is raised is indicative of support in the county,” Matthews said.
Bush and Loop are qualified and running good campaigns, and it’s evident by driving around the county and seeing all the billboards and signs how seriously both are taking the race, Matthews continued.
One has to look no further than the last New Albany mayor’s race to see how campaign fundraising can sometimes be misleading.
In the Democratic primary in 2011, Irv Stumler raised more than $40,000, Paul Ethride garnered $13,230, and Jeff Gahan received $7,942.
Though he finished last in campaign contributions, it was Gahan who easily won the primary and general election to gain the mayor’s seat.
“I ultimately think what determines these races is the hard work of the candidates,” Dickey said.