Durham News

Gordon leads all in campaign income, spending

With Tuesday’s primary campaigns in the home stretch, incumbent District Court Judge Nancy Gordon leads all fields in money received and money spent.

Gordon, facing two challengers to keep her seat, had received $45,322 in campaign donations and spent $27,110.10 on her campaign as of April 19, according to her first-quarter finance report filed with the state Board of Elections.

Fred Battaglia, one of Gordon’s opponents, had received $19,922.27 and spent $18,795, while Aminah Thompson, the third candidate for Gordon’s seat, had taken in $3,852 and spent $2,546.56. No candidate in the two other contested races for district court judge has raised more than $3,349 or spent more than $2,139.73.

Sheriff Mike Andrews and district attorney candidate Roger Echols are a distant second and third to Gordon. Jimmy Doster, in a five-way race for the District 2 School Board seat, has a striking lead over all other candidates in the three contested School Board races.

Here is a breakdown on finances in the sheriff, DA and School Board races. Finance reports for sheriff and School Board candidates are available at bit.ly/1n33yPs; for district attorney and district court judge reports, see bit.ly/1n82kji.


Andrews, a first-time political candidate after being named to serve retired Sheriff Worth Hill’s remaining term, had taken in $27,135.64 as of April 19, including a $600 contribution from former Durham County Sheriff Worth Hill and $947.06 from former Sheriff Roland Leary, who paid Andrews’ filing fee.

The Andrews campaign’s three largest contributors, other than family members, were D. Bennett Wall of Durham, James R. Tilley of Bahama and Robert Moulton of Chapel Hill, each donating $1,000. Andrews reported spending $19,458.59, primarily on advertising and printed campaign material.

Andrews challenger Richard Buchanan, a retired major in the Durham County Sheriff’s Office, reported a more modest campaign: $5,912.96, most of it his own money.

The third candidate for sheriff, former Hillsborough and Duke University police chief Clarence Birkhead, had not filed a first-quarter report as of Thursday afternoon. Reports were due April 28, but Steve Simos, deputy director of elections for Durham County, said Birkhead would not be delinquent if his report arrives with an April 28 or earlier postmark.

If Birkhead’s report is delinquent, he would face fines of $50 a day, with a maximum of $500, Simos said. However, he said, fines are usually waived for first-time offenders.

District attorney

Echols, currently chief assistant to retiring interim District Attorney Leon Stanback, reported receiving $26,691.49, including $700 from his boss. His report also lists a $500 contribution from Lawrence Campbell, chief of the Durham Public Defenders Office – who also made $500 donations to Echols’ two rivals, attorney Brian Aus and former assistant district attorney Mitchell Garrell.

Echols reported spending $22,166.87.

Aus, a career defense attorney running to become Durham’s top prosecutor, reported income of $8,801.45, primarily his own donations to his campaign committee, and spending of $6,719.47.

Garrell’s report listed expenses of $4,220.69 and only $2,863 in revenue, which included $500 from attorney Joseph Wilson and $100 from former District Attorney Mike Nifong.

School Board

School Board elections are non-partisan, but Doster, a registered Republican, is getting strong support from the Durham County GOP.

“A Durham Republican tends to be a bit demoralized as our entire county is currently run by the left ... and, some would say: by the far-left. Jimmy's race is important for the simple fact that he can win,” Durham County party Chairman Ted Hicks wrote in an email to the Republican email list.

“Once Jimmy wins this seat, the average Durham Republican will get a huge morale boost for the simple fact that we got a Republican elected to a position within the county,” Hicks wrote.

Doster’s first-quarter report listed contributions of $17,015.73, and a supplement reported a $2,500 contribution from a John Hilbrich of Clarendon Hills, Ill. Henderson real-estate broker Harold Frazier Sr. contributed $1,100, and three other individuals made $1,000 donations.

His closest competitor in the District 2 race, community organizer Sendolo Diaminah, who received endorsement by the influential People’s Alliance political-action group, reported income of $9,484.28. His largest contribution, $2,500, came from the N.C. Association of Educators political organization.

In the District 3 race, Matt Sears’s campaign had taken in $6,641.09, followed by Lisa Gordon Stella’s with $4,182.91 and Deborah Bryson with $1,505.

In District 1, incumbent Omega Curtis Parker reported $1,065; her challengers, Mike Lee and Thomas Poole, had previously signed statements that they intended to raise and spend no more than $1,000 each on their campaigns, and are exempt from further reporting.