Bennington County candidates submit finance forms

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Editor's note: A previous version of this article omitted campaign finance information for the three candidates for Vermont House in Bennington District 4. The article was updated.

BENNINGTON >> Financial disclosure forms filed this week show two Bennington County candidates for the Vermont House have each spent several thousand dollars .

Candidates for county, legislative and statewide races had to submit campaign finance forms to the Secretary of State by Monday. The latest reporting period, July 15 to Aug. 15, includes the month leading up to the Aug. 9 primary election.

Of the local candidates for Vermont House, Mike Silver spent the most for his unsuccessful bid to represent Bennington District 2-1. Silver spent $5,040.97 during his campaign, according to a finance disclosure statement filed on Monday. The report does not list any contributions.

Linda Sullivan of Dorset spent the second most for her bid as representative to the Bennington-Rutland District. Sullivan, who got the Democratic party bid and will be on the ballot in November, has spent $4,258.44 and has raised a total of $5,995.

Other districts had uncontested races in last week's primary and candidates have reported little to no financial activity.

Silver was one of four candidates who sought the Democrat party nomination for Vermont House in District 2-1. Silver and fellow challenger Jackie Kelly received 225 and 213 votes, respectively. They were bested by incumbents Timothy R. Corcoran II and Rachael Fields, who received 498 and 359 votes, respectively.

When reached for comment on Tuesday evening, Silver said he spent the most among the three other candidates because, while they already have some sort of political position, he's been out of the political game for nearly 40 years. He previously served in the house from 1974 to 1980.

Silver spent $2,379.10 to advertise with local media outlets: $1,161.30 to the Bennington Banner; $617.80 to WBTN 1370 AM; and $600 to Jeff Grimshaw, who runs the digital community news service Bennington News Network. Silver spent another $1,280.48 for brochures and $593.60 for yard signs.

Fields, a union representative with the Vermont State Employees Association (VSEA), has spent $861.86 during her bid for a second term. She's raised a total of $2,352.50 to date, including a $1,000 donation from the Vermont NEA (National Education Association) Fund for Children and Public Education in July. She raised $1,272.50 in the latest reporting period, which includes: An in-kind contribution from the VSEA for 18 hours of staff services worth $397.50; a $300 contribution from the campaign of state Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas, a Democrat representing Orange District 2; and $500 from VSEA Political Awareness Committee.

Kelly spent $743.20 for yard signs and postage. She had donated that amount to her campaign and, according to a financial disclosure report filed on Monday, also received a $100 anonymous donation.

Corcoran, the son of longtime Bennington Town Clerk Tim Corcoran who died in 2014, seeks an eighth term in November's general election. He did not have a recent finance report on file. He confirmed by email on Tuesday that he has not spent any money in this election cycle.

Sullivan is one of two candidates who sought their respective party nomination last week for the Bennington-Rutland District, which includes Dorset, Landgrove and Peru in Bennington County and Danby and Mount Tabor in Rutland County. She ran unopposed and will be on the ballot in November.

Financial disclosure forms filed for Sullivan on Monday show $1,604.60 recently went to yard signs, postcards, buttons and other campaign materials. The $1,425 she raised in the most recent reporting period includes seven donations under $100 and a single $1,000 donation from Ian Liu of Stamford, Conn.

Sullivan will be challenged by Republican John "Jack" Stannard, who ran unopposed for his party nomination. Stannard, a member of the Dorset Select Board, did not have a report filed.

In Bennington District 4, Democrat incumbents Cynthia Browning and Steve Berry both got the Democratic party nomination. Browning has spent $619.70 and raised $760.76. Berry has raised $1,825.00, all in the most recent reporting period, but has not spent any money.

They will face Republican challenger Brian Keefe in November's election. Keefe has spent $2,697.88 to date, $2,313.49 was spent in the most recent reporting period. He's raised $4,379 to date and $2,954 in the most recent reporting period.

District 4 includes Arlington, Manchester, Sandgate and Sunderland. Republican Patti Kolmine has represented the district since 2005 and did not seek re-election.

Contact Ed Damon at 802-447-7567, ext. 111.


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