LIMA – The Committee to Secure Allen County’s Future, a political action committee formed by the Allen County commissioners to promote a proposed sales tax hike that appeared on the May 8 primary ballot, spent nearly $14,000 on a campaign that ultimately was rejected by county voters.
Meanwhile, two Republican candidates for a single judicial seat on the Allen County Common Pleas Court combined to spend more than $50,000 in their primary battle.
Those figures became public Friday with the passing of a deadline for the filing of post-primary expense reports with the Allen County Board of Elections. The latest filings, which reflect campaign contributions and expenditures since the April 25 pre-primary filing deadline, indicate the PAC formed to support the sales tax issue took in $12,635 during the reporting period.
Republican judicial candidates Terri Kohlrieser and Lawrence A. Huffman spent $22,869 and $28,520, respectively, in their primary battle for judge of the county common pleas court. Most of the money raised and spent from the two candidates was their own in the form of loans to their campaigns.
Kohlrieser rolled to a 7,676-3,991 victory over Huffman in the May 8 balloting.
The winning candidate raised most of her money early in the campaign, with more than a dozen individuals contributing $600 to her campaign prior to April 25. Those donors included Andrew Cook, the Robert Schulte Trust, Brad Roush, Judith Roush, J. Allen Smith, Lisa Smith, Steven Keslar, Clay Balyeat, Virginia Korte, Juergen Waldick, William Nolan, Kathy Waldick and Mary Flower. The only donation of $500 or more to Kohlrieser in the latest reporting period came from Susan Prueter.
Donors of $500 or more to Huffman’s campaign included Lawrence S. Huffman, $9,000; Huffman, Kelley, Brock & Gottschalk LCC, $3,800; Lori Huffman, $1,500; John C. Huffman, $1,000; Matthew Huffman, $1,000; and $600 each from Bradford Kelley, Suzanne Kelley, Quinn Whitaker, James O’Neill and Chris O’Neill.
SALES TAX SPENDING
Allen County voters narrowly rejected a proposed .02 percent county sales tax increase during the primary election.
The proposed 10-year sales tax hike was estimated to generate some $3.5 million annually to fund a new juvenile detention center, renovations to the county courthouse and the construction of a new county office building and a new county engineer’s office. Additional funds were also to be used for bridge and road repairs in the county.
Voters rejected the tax hike by a final tally of 8,221-7,711.
Thirty individuals and commercial vendors — many of whom do business with the county on an annual basis — were among the contributors to the committee formed to support the sales tax increase.
The largest single contributor to the PAC was Asphalt Materials Inc. of Indianapolis with a contribution of $2,500. Writing $1,000 checks to the PAC were LJB Inc. of Miamisburg, Degen Excavating of Lima and the Lima Building Trades Council.
Contributions of $500 each came from Allen County Sanitary Engineer Stephen Kayatin of Lima; National Lime and Stone Co. of Findlay; Bluffton Paving of Bluffton Stone of Bluffton; Wannemacher Enterprises of Lima; Arthur Rogovin of Zanesville; Spherion of Lima and Garmann/Miller & Associates of Minster.