Rivals spend big in contest

All but one of the candidates seeking to unseat incumbent Rep. Milo Smith — either in the primary or the fall election — have spent nearly twice as much as Smith has invested in his campaign.

The biggest spender seeking the District 59 seat is Republican challenger Ryan Lauer, who has spent $6,622.80 in a bid to unseat Smith, who reports $3,486.50 in expenditures for the campaign through the April 8 reporting period. The third Republican in the race, Lew Wilson, has spent $2,051.28 on his campaign.

A close second in campaign spending among all District 59 candidates is Dale Nowlin, running as a Democrat. Nowlin spent $6,365.60. Another Democrat, Bob Pitman, has spent $5,312.95.

Lauer also challenged Smith for the District 59 seat two years ago, but lost in the primary. He spent about $8,700 in that campaign, campaign reports show.

The latest pre-primary campaign finance reports were posted this week on the Indiana Secretary of State’s website.

Lauer and Wilson, the two Republican challengers for the nomination, also are listing thousands more in contributions than the incumbent in the four months leading up to the primary for their campaigns.

But Smith started the year with more than $19,000 cash on hand and went over the $20,000 mark with $500 in new donations this year.

Lauer was not far behind in building his war chest, however, starting the year with about $8,200 in cash on hand and adding more than $10,000 to it, reaching nearly $19,000. Nearly half of the funds Lauer raised this year came from a $5,000 donation that he and his wife Blair made to his campaign.

Wilson, the third Republican in the race, raised nearly $7,800 during the reporting period, the reports show.

On the Democratic side, Pitman reported contributions of just over $10,000 for the reporting period, including about $6,100 in unitemized donations, starting out with about $300 cash on hand.

Nowlin reported about $6,900 in contributions, including about $4,700 in unitemized donations, starting out with no cash on hand.

Contributions and expenditures

Indiana House of Representatives District 59

Republican Milo Smith

Contributions:

$300: Indiana Friends of Rural Electrification

$100: Judith Heaton, Columbus; Arthur H. Turner, Columbus.

Expenditures:

$3,000: JR Promotions, Columbus, advertising;  $486.50: The Republic, advertising

Republican Ryan Lauer

Contributions:

$5,000: Ryan and Blair Lauer

$500: Andrew and Deborah Perr, Columbus

$200: Russell Poling, Columbus; Robert Smitherman, Columbus; Dennis and Lillie Lauer, Valparaiso

$100: Glen Petri, Columbus; Paul and Sandra Nolting, Columbus; Elizabeth Perr, Columbus; Martha Conway-Risk, Columbus; Tamara and Mark Kiel, Columbus; Laurie and David Wright, Columbus

In-kind donations: $147.36 from Blair Lauer, Columbus: $295.72 from Ryan and Blair Lauer, Columbus; $850 from Andrew and Deborah Perr, Columbus; $830.72 from Ryan and Blair Lauer, Columbus; $300 from Emily Estes, Bowling Green, Kentucky, $49 from Ryan and Blair Lauer, Columbus; $194 from Paul and Sandra Nolting, Columbus; and $196.36 from Blair Lauer, Columbus; and $249.13 from Blair Lauer, Columbus.

Expenditures: $295.72 to Ryan and Blair Lauer for advertising (marketing buttons); $368.59 to Ryan and Blair Lauer for fundraising (event items); $386.84 to Ryan and Blair Lauer for fundraising (event items); $350 to Andrew and Deb Perr for room rental for fundraising event; $921.84 to Ryan and Blair Lauer for photography; $300 to Emily Estes for graphic design; $970.84 to Ryan and Blair Lauer for postage; $94 to Paul and Sandra Nolting for event items; $1,023.61 to Ryan and Blair Lauer for OfficeMax printing; $133.95 for printing from OfficeMax; $45 to Constant Contact for advertising; $91 for U.S. Postal Service; $190 to The Republic, Columbus, for advertising; $17.38 to Facebook for advertising; $14.59 to Donuts and Coffee, Columbus, for fundraising; $300 to The Republic, Columbus, for advertising; $56.51 to PIP for advertising; $160.72 to YES Cinema for advertising; $791.80 to PIP for advertising; $450.04 to Facebook for advertising; $950.13 to Harcourt for advertising; $1,983.22 to the U.S. Postal Service for advertising; $25.74 to Paypal for fundraising.

Republican Lew Wilson

Contributions:

$1,000: Janos Horvath, Indianapolis; Linda Horvath, Indianapolis

$700: Innovative Properties, Columbus

$500: Patricia M. Wilson, Eagle River, Arkansas; Teresa G. Vincent, Columbus, Michael Trotta, Fortville; Kimberlee S. Hill, Columbus; Bettie P. Wilson, Columbus; John C. Bartnett Jr., Columbus

$250: Lowell F. Beggs II, Columbus

$200: David’s Inc., Columbus

Expenditures:

$1,730: My Campaign Store; $165.85: The UPS Store.

Democrat Bob Pitman

Contributions:

$1,000: Joan Able, Columbus

$500: Sheryl Elston, Columbus; Carolyn Lickerman, Evanston, Illlinois

$300: Jim and Toots Henderson, Columbus

$250: Jeff Jones, Columbus; Connie and Terry Marbach, Columbus

$200: Mary Glasson, Columbus; Bill and Sharon Krieg, Columbus; Paul and Lisa McHone, Columbus

$150: Bill and Ann Jones, Columbus; Sue Gerber, Columbus

Expenditures:

$3,584.50 to Robert Pitman, Columbus, for reimbursement for yard signs and T-shirts; $5,312,95 to Robert Pitman, Columbus, for reimbursement for office supplies and postage

Democrat Dale Nowlin

Contributions:

$500: Rebecca Lorenz, Columbus

$390: Dale Nowlin, Columbus

$250: Lynn Cain, Columbus; Tom Vujovich, Columbus

$200: Joel and Robyn Spoon, Columbus; Douglas Newton, Edinburgh

$150: Stephen and Julie Abedian, Columbus; Abhay and Nimrita Singhal, Columbus

$125: John and Sue Green, Columbus

Expenditures:

$4,215: Tony London Co., Columbus, for advertising; $42.04: Hanger Restaurant, Columbus, for campaign breakfast; $30.15 to Tre Bicchieri, Columbus, for campaign lunch; $17.97 to Zwanzig Pizza, Columbus, for meal for volunteers; $1,635 to The Republic, Columbus, for advertising; $98.97 to Vistaprint for brochures; $135.17 to Facebook for advertising; $49 to United States Postal Service for postage; $53.63 to OfficeMax for advertising; $86.87 to Hoosier Sporting Goods, Columbus for badges.

Where to find the numbers

To learn more about financial reports from candidates seeking state office, visit the Indiana Secretary of State’s searchable database for campaign finance reports at campaignfinance.in.gov/PublicSite/SearchPages/CandidateSearch.aspx

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.