The District 37 Mississippi House race proved that fundraising doesn’t always translate to votes.
Despite David Chism’s loss in the special election Nov. 8, he outraised the victor, Andy Boyd, by a near 2-to-1 margin, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office.
However, when self contributions are deducted, third-party fundraising was nearly even between the candidates.
Boyd defeated Chism at the polls Nov. 8 with 4,324 votes (57.5 percent) to Chism’s 3,199 (42.5 percent), securing the job of fulfilling the unexpired term of the late Lynn Wright. The district includes parts of Lowndes, Oktibbeha and Clay counties.
But reports filed with the secretary of state’s office Nov. 1 show Chism raised a total of $26,588 for his campaign, compared to Boyd’s $15,509.
About $19,609 of Chism’s total was itemized. Candidates are required to itemize contributions greater than $200.
Chism was his own biggest contributor, kicking in a total of $12,809 out of his own pocket. Other contributors included Spencer Bailey for $1,110; David R. Chism, the candidate’s father, and Andrew Benton, both for $1,000; Tracy Kaiser for $750; Colin Krieger for $700; Bobby Patrick for $500; PoolCorp gave $450; Andy Hubbard gave $400; Frances Sue Myers-Franks contributed $300; and Robert Benton, Bruce Johnson and Dana Criswell all gave $200 each.
Former District 37 Representative Gary Chism, in an in-kind contribution, gave David Chism 28 used political signs valued at $50 each.
Chism reported spending $11,712. He had $14,876 in cash on hand going into the campaign’s final week.
According to Boyd’s campaign finance report, he collected a total of $15,509, of which $11,635 was itemized.
Boyd self-financed a total of $485. His other contributors included Joseph Gillis, Albert L. Lee, Columbus Nissan and Robert Graham, who each gave $1,000; John Douglass Phillips, W.R. Phillips IV, William S. Swedenburg and Blake Webb Hill, who all gave $625; D.R. Gillis, ECM Co-PAC, Russell Street and William “Billy” Aultman, who kicked in $500 each; George Bradford Fleming gave $400; Morgan Bain Nickels gave $350; Burns Dirt Construction, William Michael Smith and Oliver Phillips Jr. gave $300 each; and Sonya Bridges, Capitol Advocacy Group PAC and Eleanor Ellis donated $250 each.
Boyd also received two in-kind contributions. George Bradford Fleming donated campaign signs, and West Brothers Construction donated installation of political signs.
Boyd recorded a total of $14,920 in disbursements, and had $404 in cash on hand entering the campaign’s final week.
The candidates’ final financial disclosures are due Jan. 31, 2023.
Brian Jones is the local government reporter for Columbus and Lowndes County.
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