Alabama: Two Runoff Contenders Top $950K in Spending

Posted July 7, 2008 at 6:29pm

According to pre-runoff reports filed last week, the two candidates still standing in the 5th district GOP primary battle have spent a combined $950,000 on their campaigns for the Huntsville-based seat that will be very much in play come November.

As of June 25, commercial insurance broker Wayne Parker had $46,000 in cash on hand after spending more than $362,000 so far. Meanwhile, his runoff opponent, Huntsville attorney Cheryl Baswell Guthrie, had just $5,000 remaining after spending $589,000 on her campaign.

But Guthrie — who had already loaned her campaign more than $126,000 this cycle — gave her campaign another cash infusion on June 30 when she cut her campaign a $75,000 check.

Parker, who came within about 500 votes of locking up the Republican nomination in the early June primary, is clearly the preferred candidate of the national party in this battleground race. Although the National Republican Congressional Committee has remained neutral in the runoff, its chairman, Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.), cut Parker a $5,000 check from his own political action committee on June 24 and Minority Leader John Boehner’s PAC, the Freedom Project, cut Parker a $5,000 check on June 25.

The winner of the July 15 primary will earn the right to take on state Sen. Parker Griffith (D) in the race to replace retiring Rep. Bud Cramer (D). Cramer has held the district with relative ease, but the race is expected to be highly competitive in November.