The election date hasn‘t been set yet, but Charlotte Meadows has already amassed a sizable war chest for the House District 74 special election.
In filings with the Alabama Secretary of State’s office, the former president of the Montgomery County Board of Education, reported having $110,420 on hand — more than former Montgomery County Probate Judge Reese McKinney or Tuscaloosa Representative John Merrill, who are seeking the Alabama GOP’s nomination for Secretary of State.
Meadows, a Republican, said in a phone interview Friday most of those funds came in the form of a $100,000 personal loan to the campaign, and said she was using it for the special election and, should she win the seat, the general election for the seat in 2014.
“We’re expecting to win this race and to also use it in next year’s race,” she said. “I’m not expecting this year’s race to be expensive.”
Montgomery County Commissioner Dimitri Polizos, the only other declared candidate for the race on the Republican side, filed a waiver for the July report. Polizos said he “had hardly raised anything in July,” but said that was because he had been told by supporters that they were waiting for Rep. Jay Love, R-Montgomery, to formally vacate the seat. Love stepped down from the seat on Thursday; he said early last month he was leaving to pursue business and advocacy opportunities.
Polizos said Meadows’ fundraising “doesn’t bother me,” and that he had financial commitments for his campaign.
“I just don’t believe money is going to win the campaign,” he said. “It’s just the people and who they’re going to support.”
Rep. Joe Hubbard, D-Montgomery, plans to run in next year’s general election and has said he is mulling entry into the special election, though his residence is currently outside the House District 74 lines. Hubbard, who raised over $200,000 for his 2010 House race, reported $1,749 on hand at the beginning of the year.
Bentley’s office has not yet set a date for the special election for the district, which encompasses most of north-central Montgomery between I-85 and Northern Boulevard. The district’s lines will be shifted east next year, and will see a significant increase in the percentage of minority voters.
There are relatively few competitive statewide races expected in 2014. In the Secretary of State race, McKinney reported raising $37,235 last month and having $80,832 on hand. Merrill reported raising $15,724, with $95,907 on hand. Crenshaw County Judge Jim Perdue did not have a report available Friday morning.
Gov. Robert Bentley, who is currently running without a challenger, raised $386,770 in July, and now has over $1 million on hand.
– posted by Brian Lyman
(Updated at 12:45 p.m. to correct reference to Secretary of State’s website not showing Meadows’ contribution as a loan.)