School board and White River Trustee race for top local spenders, campaign documents show


Campaign signs for Center Grove School Board candidates along W. Stones Crossing Road Tuesday in White River Township.

Noah Crenshaw | Daily newspaper

Several local races are contested in this year’s general election, and the candidates hope to build support in the final days before November 8.

Residents will choose everything from one of Indiana’s U.S. Senators to Indiana’s Secretary of State to school board representatives from Center Grove, Clark-Pleasant, Franklin and Greenwood.

Other local contested races are the boards of the townships of Clark, Franklin Union Needham, Pleasant and White River and the trustee of the township of White River. The local state races that are contested are Indiana House District 60 and Indiana Senate District 41.

Campaign finance reports show that political action committees, parties and individual donors are doling out money in the hundreds and thousands to give chosen candidates a boost in an attempt to win your votes. In past elections, campaign spending has been considered a measure of the level of support for a particular candidate.

Here’s a look at disputed races from Statehouse, school boards, and townships where a significant amount of money was raised and/or spent.

Indiana House District 60

Incumbent State Rep. Peggy Mayfield, a Republican, faces a challenge from Democrat Kathy Thorpe for the 60th House District. The district was recently redrawn following the 2020 census and now covers the majority of Morgan County as well as parts of northeast Monroe and northwest Johnson. counties.

Mayfield raised $57,393.94 from April 9 to October 14, adding to the $125,432.01 in cash his campaign had on hand on April 9. During the same period, his campaign had $75,407.71 in expenses, according to filings.

The largest contributing category for Mayfield’s campaign was organizations listed as “other,” excluding corporations and PACs. Nearly $33,000 was donated by those organizations, with the Indiana House Republican Campaign Committee donating $15,355.45, according to filings.

PACs were the second largest contribution category, with Mayfield receiving $15,200 from committees such as Hoosiers for Great Public Schools, Build Indiana and United Health Group. She also received $9,026.50 in direct, in-kind individual contributions and an additional $250 from corporations, according to filings.

In terms of expenses, Mayfield’s campaign spent $57,967.82 on operating expenses. Another $12,873 was spent on advertising, according to filings.

On the other hand, Thorpe has raised $1,581.89 since starting her campaign, adding to the $50 in funding she already had on hand. She spent $258 on campaign expenses, according to filings.

Until now, almost all of its contributions have come from individuals. One PAC, the Morgan County Central Democratic Committee, donated $300 to his campaign, according to filings.

Thorpe spent $150 on operations and another $88 on publicity, according to filings.

Indiana Senate District 41

Republican incumbent Senator Greg Walker is being challenged by Democrat Bryan Muñoz for a seat he has held since 2016. District 41 represents most of Johnson County and all of Bartholomew County.

From April 9 to October 14, Walker raised $13,950, adding to the $19,075.78 in cash his campaign already had in hand on April 9. During the same period, he spent $7,890.69, according to filings.

PACs were major contributors to his campaign, donating $9,850. The largest PAC contribution he received was $2,500 from the Indiana Realtors PAC, according to filings.

Walker also received $1,500 from individuals, $1,300 from corporations, and $1,300 from other organizations.

Most of Walker’s funds have been donated to other organizations and candidates. More than $5,550 was donated, with the Johnson County and Bartholomew County Republican parties receiving a $2,000 contribution, according to filings.

Muñoz, Walker’s opponent, had $1,184.02 in hand on April 9 and has raised $9,953.02 since then. During the same period, he also had $10,405.43 in expenses, according to the documents.

Nearly $7,500 has been donated to Muñoz’s campaign by Democratic organizations. ActBlue donated $5,009.81, while the Bartholomew County Democratic Party donated $2,488.21, filings show.

He also received a $1,000 donation from the Indiana Political Action Committee for Education, or I-PACE, the political action arm of the Indiana State Teachers Association, or ISTA, and another donation of $1,000 from an individual, according to the deposits.

The bulk of Muñoz’s expenses went to advertising, more than $4,771.46, according to filings.

School Board Races

Of the 29 candidates vying for the Johnson County School Board, six have filed campaign finance returns. These candidates are Doug Bohall, Bruce Guiliani, Bill Collins, Gary Robinson, Linda Polesel and Chad Shaffer.

Candidates who have raised or spent less than $500 on their campaigns are not required to file financial reports with the county clerk’s office, per Indiana School Boards Association guidelines.

Bohall, Robinson, Guiliani and Collins are running for spots on the Center Grove Community School Corp. board of directors, Polesel is running for a seat on Clark-Pleasant Community School Corp. and Shaffer is running for a spot on the school board at Greenwood Community School Corp. .

Of the candidates who filed returns, Robinson spent the most, investing $3,500 in campaign signs. He also listed $3,500 in contributions but did not detail them, according to filings.

Collins received $1,000 from six people, including $300 from himself, and an additional $150 from APEX Telecom. Of the $1,150 raised, he spent all but less than $2, including $100 on T-shirts and about $1,048 on campaign signs, according to filings.

Bohall received $700 in campaign contributions from four people, including $500 from Terry Lancer, a project architect at Indianapolis-based Lancer + Beebe. Bohall also spent $610 of those contributions on street signs, filings show.

Guiliani listed no contributions but spent $387 on printed panels, according to filings.

Polesel received $1,169 in contributions, including $669 from herself and $500 from Franklin-based Patriot Products, LLC, which she spent on her campaign. About $159 of that went to advertising her campaign wearables, while the rest she spent on signs and flyers, according to filings.

Shaffer received $1,908, including $560 from two people and the rest self-funded. The largest campaign expenses, which matched the amount he raised, included $1,348 for commercial printing and $425 for t-shirts, with the rest spent on website registration, an event at the Greenwood Parks and Recreation Activity Center and shopping at Menards, Depots Show.

Cantonal races

In the race for White River Township administrators, Republican incumbent Mark Messick faces a challenge from Democrat Suzanne Fortenberry.

Messick did not raise or spend funds from April 9 through October 14. Earlier this year, he donated $100 of his own campaign money, which was then given directly to the Johnson County GOP, according to filings.

On the other hand, Fortenberry has raised $3,761.24 since April and spent nearly $3,250, according to filings.

Fortenberry’s largest category of contributions comes from individual donors, with a total of $2,600. The second largest category was political action committees, or PACs. ActBlue, which is affiliated with the Democratic National Committee, donated $841.24 to his campaign, according to filings.

Fortenberry’s largest expense was $1,998.76, which was used for a print campaign, according to filings.

For township council races, many candidates filed exemption forms because they raised or spent less than $500 on their campaigns. Of the candidates who said they spent money on their campaigns, all five spent less than $150.

Daily Journal reporter Andy Bell-Baltaci contributed to this report.


Here is an overview of the amounts raised and spent in local races:

Center Grove Community School Board

Douglas Bohall: $700 raised; spent $644

William Collins: $1,150 raised; spent $1,148.34

Bruce Guiliani: $0 raised; spent $387.34

Gary Robinson: starting cash balance: $3,500; raised $0; spent $3,500

Clark-Pleasant School Board – Township of Clark

Linda Polesel: $1,168.70 raised; spent $1,168.70

Greenwood Community School Board

Chad Shaffer: $0 raised; spent $1,158.32

State Representative – District 60

Peggy Mayfield, Republican: Starting Cash Balance: $125,432.01; raised $57,393.94; spent $75,407.71

Kathy Thorpe, Democrat: Starting cash balance: $50; raised $1,581.89; spent $258

State Senate – District 41

Bryan Muñoz, Democrat: Starting cash balance: $1,184.02; raised $9,953.02; spent $10,405.43

Greg Walker, Republican: starting cash balance: $19,075.78; raised $13,950; spent $7,890.69

Trustee of the Township of White River

Suzanne Fortenberry, Democrat: Starting Cash Balance: $0; raised $3,761.24; spent $3,246.38

Mark Messick, Republican: $0 raised; spent $0

Source: Campaign Finance Reports


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