Three school board candidates spend more than $2,000 on campaigns

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 28, 2012

By Sarah Campbell
SALISBURY – Three of the candidates seeking a seat on the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education have spent more than $2,000 on their campaigns, according to final finance reports submitted to the Rowan County Board of Elections.
Susan Cox and Dr. Lynn Marsh, the two women competing for the southeast seat, have shelled out the most.
Cox has paid out nearly $3,470, while Marsh spent almost $2,760.
Josh Wagner, a candidate for the east seat, spent $2,082, but he also managed to raise the most at $1,050.
Marsh’s original filing with the election board noted she did not intend to receive or spend more than $1,000. She told the Post in mid-October that she wanted to stick with that plan, but she ended up going over.
“I wanted to make sure the campaign had a good chance,” she said Wednesday. “I’ve never run for office before so I didn’t know how much it would cost. When I found out I spent more, I called the election board.”
Marsh received a total of about $2,870 in contributions, about $1,620 of which were in-kind donations.
Her husband, Donald, spent a total of $880 on advertising, T-shirts and printed cards. He also chipped in $1,000 to be spent at Marsh’s discretion.
Marsh loaned herself $700, which she used for advertising.
The Democratic Women of Rowan County donated $100 to her campaign.
Marsh paid out $407 to the Post for advertising, $614 for signs from Diversified Graphics, $39 for business cards from Vista Print and $75 for radio ads on WSAT Memories 1280.
Cox has received $525 in donations, including $250 from Rowan County Board of Commissioners candidate Craig Pierce and $100 from Salisbury resident Tom Lynch.
She loaned herself $3,100 to use during the campaign.
“I did not solicit any donations. I intended to cover all of the expenses myself and people came to me and said they wanted to help,” she said.
Cox has paid out $1,838 to SCS Services for signs and cards, $600 to the Post for online advertising, $100 to the Cleveland Chronicle for print ads and $10 for service charges at F&M Bank.
She purchased three radio ads at a cost of $408 from Ford Broadcasting, $392 to WSAT Memories 1280 for a radio ad and $120 to WSTP Radio.
Cox said she spent more on the campaign in hopes of increasing her name recognition.
“I think the signs do that when you have them plastered everywhere,” she said. “My cards have been helpful. … They have my priorities on the back, so that people have something to look at to know where I stand and can kind of educate themselves.”
Cox said she knows people have seen her ads on the Post website and she hopes they’ve heard the radio promotions.
“I think all of it has been very helpful and money well spent,” she said.
Wagner’s $1,050 in contributions came from Pierce and Ben Lynch, vice chair of the Rowan County Republican Party, $200 from Salisbury businessman Matt Barr, $100 each from Salisbury resident Steve Kale, insurance agent John Leatherman and former school board chairman David Aycoth.
Wagner has loaned himself $1,027.
He’s paid out $20 to Thread Shed for shirt embroidery, $150 to the Cleveland Chronicle for print advertisements, $1,565 to SCS Services for business cards, yard signs, magnets, website design and $250 to the Rowan County Republican Party for a candidate mailer.
Wagner has also chipped in during fundraisers for Republican candidates Carl Ford and John Tedesco, donating $55 and $40, respectively.
Incumbent Dr. Jim Emerson, Wagner’s opponent, has not spent more than $1,000, which means he did not have to turn in a finance report to the elections board.
None of the four seeking the Salisbury seat have spent more than $1,000: incumbent Bryce Beard, Chuck Hughes, Connie Johnson and Quentin Woodward Jr.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.