With more than $7 million in the bank for his re-election bid, Gov. Bobby Jindal is far better financed than the nine people challenging him in the Oct. 22 primary.
Only one of the nine — Haynesville schoolteacher Tara Hollis — raised enough money to trigger the requirement for filing an electronic campaign finance report with the state this week.
Other candidates put their reports in the mail or delivered them in person, indicating that they raised or spent less than $25,000 between July 15 and Sept. 22.
Hollis just barely hit the requirement to file an electronic report that instantly details on the Internet her contributions and expenses over the past two months. She raised roughly $28,000 and spent less than $10,000.
“It’s been tight. The Lord’s been good, and it’s been tight,” she said.
Less than half of the contributions that Hollis received came in the form of actual cash although she did receive $1,500 from former Gov. Kathleen Blanco, $10 from René Lapeyrolerie, the executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party, and $50 from Marsanne Goldsby, the press secretary when Republican Mike Foster was governor.
Hollis reported $18,935 in “in kind” contributions from supporters covering her costs. Democratic legislators gave her a place to sleep at night on the campaign trail. A Shreveport media company shouldered the cost of producing campaign commercials.
With 30 days remaining before the primary, Hollis had $4,612.01 in cash on hand.
Other gubernatorial candidates delivered their reports in person or sent them by mail. The reports will be scanned in by the Louisiana Board of Ethics and eventually posted online.
Brusly resident David Blanchard, who is running without party affiliation, refused to comment on how much he has raised or spent.
He said his campaign finances are none of the media’s business.
A handwritten report filed with the Louisiana Board of Ethics shows Blanchard has no money on hand for his campaign.
Another candidate, Libertarian Scott Lewis, of Baton Rouge, said he has $47 in his campaign account.
“We’re going to get more money. I’ve got commitments,” he said.
Lewis said he plans to accelerate his campaign activity beginning Oct. 1.
Natchitoches resident Bob Lang, who has no party affiliation, filed an affidavit stating that he has little campaign finance activity to report.
Some candidates are spending their own money on their campaigns although not in the neighborhood of the millions of dollars that John Georges and Walter Boasso loaned themselves when they unsuccessfully ran against Jindal in 2007.
Baton Rouge nonprofit organization worker “Niki Bird” Papazoglakis committed $5,100 of her own money to her gubernatorial bid. The Democrat said she is confident that more than half of voters are dissatisfied with Jindal.
Metairie attorney Cary Deaton, also a Democrat, said he loaned his campaign $3,000.
“So far, it’s all my money,” he said.
Deaton said he is depending on the news media to help him reach voters.
Lewis loaned his campaign the money the state charges for candidates to sign up to run for office.
Meanwhile, Jindal is dipping into his campaign fund to help candidates in other races.
The governor’s campaign spokesman, Aaron Baer, said Jindal has contributed $258,000 to candidates, including those running for the Legislature.