Preis tops spending in school board races

First-time candidate has raised more than $3,600 for campaigning.
Sunday, April 3, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 7:59 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

First-time school board candidate Darin Preis raised and spent $3,652 for his campaign — a figure far greater than any other candidate for Tuesday’s elections and several hundred more than his own goal of $3,000.

“We spent every cent of it,” Preis said about his campaign funds.

Preis, the director of the Missouri Head Start program for early education, spent his funds on newspaper advertising, yard signs and a bulk-mail package. Yard signs were distributed to supporters who then took the signs to area neighborhoods. The mailings consisted of Preis’ flier, outlining his career background, views on popular education issues and why he’s running for school board.

Current and past school board members helped Preis determine an amount they thought was adequate for campaigning.

“I was really excited that we were able to go above and beyond the amount we tried to raise,” he said.

Because this is his first time running, Preis focused much of his attention on people who voted in the last election, he said.

Mike Martin, also a new candidate, estimates his campaign will have raised between $1,200 and $1,500 and will have spent about the same by election day.

“I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a race that has only a four-month election cycle,” Martin said. “I have spent almost all of my time campaigning.”

Martin’s campaign included visiting all 33 schools, 10 forums and 6,000 households by Tuesday, as well as a 1,500-person e-mail list used to send out newsletters.

“We were advised that it was the best way to campaign,” he said.

Incumbent candidate David Ballenger reported having $630.33 on hand for the election and spending $164.87.

Don Ludwig, also an incumbent candidate, filed a statement of limited activity, indicating he raised or received less than $1,000, or no more than $250 from a single contributor, Deputy County Clerk Leslie Canole said.

Candidates within those monetary bounds are exempt from filing any kind of report, Canole said.

Rhonda Garland, a new candidate, and Arch Brooks, who has run for the board three times before, did not file finance disclosure reports. Neither was available for comment.

Mandatory filings for candidates who are not exempt must be made eight days before the election, 30 days after and quarterly. The next quarterly report is due April 15.

Canole also said that most candidates terminate their committees after 30 days and therefore are no longer required to file.

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