The race for the District 3 county commissioners seat is the most expensive local race in Howard County.

With the two Republican seats on the Board of Commissioners up for election, control of the three-member board that operates as the executive branch of county government is at stake.

Through mid-October, the four candidates have raised $51,951 since the last reporting period in April and have spent $42,841.

“I’m amazed they can raise that amount of money in a presidential year,” Bob Stephenson, chairman of the county Democratic Party, said. “I ran in 2004 and had a difficult time raising money.”

Stephenson said the cost of campaigning has increased and the candidates are having to spend more money to get their name out in an election year with the race for president and governor on the ballot.

Craig Dunn, chairman of the Republican Party could not be reached for comment.

Incumbent Republican Brad Bagwell has been outspent by Democrat challenger Bill Thompson for the period from April through Oct. 10 filed with the Howard County Clerk’s office.

Thompson reported raising $20,429 for the period as compared to $12,515 for Bagwell. Although Bagwell has spent ($13,441) almost as much as Thompson (14,771) going into the final weeks of the campaign, Thompson has $5,721 more in cash on hand.

Thompson reported raising $3,100 from individuals, $353 from corporations and $8,660 from political action committees, mostly affiliated with labor, and $1,284 from the Democratic Party. He received a $2,500 donation from the Indiana Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Educational Committee. The candidate has lent $2,500 to his campaign.

Bagwell reported $2,600 in contributions from individuals and $1,900 from corporations. His campaign finance report shows unitemized contributions of $7,965.

In terms of money raised and spent in the District 2 seat to replace retiring Republican Paul Raver, Republican Tyler Moore has outspent Democrat Bob Hayes by a better than 6 to 1 margin.

Hayes reporting raising $3,029 for the period and spending $1,916 leaving a balance of $1,315. During the reporting period Hayes reported individual contributions of $850 and $1,284 from the Howard County Democratic Party. His campaign reported unitemized contributions of $95.

Moore reported contributions of $15,978 and expenditures of $12,812 leaving a cash balance of $4,453. His campaign reported unitemized contributions of $4,692. Moore has lent his campaign a total of $7,819 during the year and repaid $617 of the debt before the May primary.

Moore’s campaign reported $3,034 in individual contributions, $50 from corporations and $1,000 from political action committees.

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