Livingston Parish Sheriff candidate Jason Ard has raised more than five times as much money as his main competitor in the race, campaign finance records show.
Through Thursday, Ard had raised $492,165.07 since January while retired State Trooper Mickey McMorris raised $90,351, according to documents filed with the Louisiana Ethics Administration.
The records show McMorris had more cash going into the final month before the Oct. 22 primary.
Ard’s campaign has $85,862.73 on hand for the final month before the primary, the records show.
McMorris’s campaign has approximately $98,000 on hand for the last month, he said.
That amount is approximately $51,000 less than what is reported on his campaign form, which was a mistake in reporting, McMorris said.
McMorris is trying to get the mistake corrected with the ethics administration, he said.
In addition to the money he raised, McMorris loaned $111,956 to his campaign, the records show.
Ard’s campaign has not received any loans, according to the reports.
Through Sept. 22, Ard had spent $412,696, while McMorris had spent $104,211.
“My goal was to raise between $300,000 and $400,000,” Ard said. “I was surprised by the amount we raised.”
Ard has received about 1,400 individual contributions, ranging from $16 to $2,500, the documents show.
Ard, who is Sheriff Willie Graves’ chief deputy, has taken an unpaid leave of absence from the Sheriff’s Office to focus on his campaign, he said.
Ard said the length of the campaign — Ard and McMorris both formally announced runs in January — has contributed to the high cost of the campaign.
McMorris expected the campaign to cost around $200,000, he said.
“Over half of our money came from me and my wife,” he said, referring to the loans he has made to the campaign. “We have spent a fourth of what he (Ard) spent.”
McMorris has received about 350 contributions, ranging from $20 to $2,500.
McMorris said he was not surprised to see how much money Ard had received.
Of the other two candidates in the race — Pete Aranyosi and H.B. “Cookie” Billingsley — only Billingsley had filed a disclosure report with the ethics administration, he said.
The report was not available for download on the agency’s website Monday.
Billingsley said his campaign had $2.50 remaining of a $500 loan he had made at the start of the campaign.
Neither Billingsley or Aranyosi are accepting contributions, both said Monday.
Aranyosi did not file a report, he said.