Candidates spent more than $100,000 in Warner Robins mayor’s race

mstucka@macon.comJanuary 28, 2014 

WARNER ROBINS -- To become mayor, Randy Toms spent about $45,000, or almost as much as the other five candidates combined.

But the race still has lingering financial effects. Two other candidates haven’t filed end-of-the-year financial reports that were due three weeks ago. Another candidate loaned his campaign $5,000 he’s not getting back.

That’s from a Telegraph review of filings with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, which used to be known as the State Ethics Commission.

Reports filed so far show the race cost in total about $103,000 and drew contributions of about $110,000. Toms spent $44,738.82, including his spending in a runoff election against Joe Musselwhite.

Toms said former Mayor Chuck Shaheen told him to plan to spend about $60,000.

“I really got out, and at first I started raising money, but then people just started getting behind me and supporting me. Obviously, I didn’t reach the $60,000 and didn’t need it,” Toms said Tuesday.

Musselwhite, the city’s former public works director, reported spending every penny of the $28,363.25 that he raised. Both candidates reported they paid off loans they made to their own campaigns. Toms had fronted $4,000, while Musselwhite loaned his campaign $3,200. Toms also reported having about $4,500 remaining in his account.

In that, they did better than some of their competitors. Mike Bra-shear, a former councilman, reported contributions and expenses both of $17,165.15, but that left him with a $5,000 loan to his campaign. He filed paperwork to close out the campaign.

Daron Lee, a former councilman, reported raising $9,765.05 and spent all but $141.60.

The state ethics commission’s website shows the mayoral race’s two lowest-funded candidates did not file required reports.

Chuck Chalk, a Robins Air Force Base employee, reported raising $4,975.10 and spending $2,840 by Oct. 25. He said Tuesday he had no activity in the final week of the campaign, and his end-of-the-year report would be identical.

“There was one (report) due at the end of the year, and at some point I’m going to close it out,” Chalk said.

Retired educator Eva Folse didn’t file anything after her Oct. 25 report. In that, she listed only a $460 contribution -- from herself -- and $245 in expenses.

To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.

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