In the May primary, challenger Stuart “Bear” Halbert squeaked past incumbent Jailer Cheyenne McKinney by a margin of 47 votes, 3,431 to 3,384. To get there, however, he had to spend nearly twice as much.
Records from the Registry of Election Finance show that Halbert outspent McKinney by a margin of $35,950 to $20,190.20, putting the cost of those 47 votes at about $335 each.
However, the margins do not tell the whole story. In other ways, the records show strong support for the Democratic nominee.
For example, Halbert did not have to spend as much of his own money, chipping in over $1,000 less out of his own pocket than McKinney. Halbert also had more in contributor donations — $24,250 — than McKinney spent on his entire race.
There were six other candidates in the race who all spent far less than Halbert and McKinney, and all fared far worse in the ballot box. They include:
• Jerry Case, $6,129.80 spent, 709 votes
• Lance Hall, $7,022.34 spent, 894 votes
• Dale Johnson, $6,860 spent, 2,321 votes
• Stan Lee, $1,533.61 spent, 905 votes
• Lowell “Dougie” Marcum, $5,600 spent, 673 votes
• Lowell “JR” Samons, $7,464.94 spent, 1,392 votes