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Schuylkill County News

Schuylkill County GOP Commissioner Candidates Have 6X Money Edge Over Democrats

Will this money buy the Republicans a win on Tuesday?

Republicans running for jobs at the Courthouse in Schuylkill County in the 2023 Municipal Elections aren’t finding it hard to come by money to fuel their campaigns.

Whether this massive fundraising advantage equates to wins remains to be seen.

The General Election is November 7. And there are 2 big countywide races on ballots in Schuylkill County: County Commissioner and Court of Common Pleas Judge.

In each race, Republicans have out-raised and out-spent their Democrat opponents several times over.

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The numbers are truly astounding.

Let’s take a look at how much each campaign for County Commissioner has raised just since June and more importantly, who’s funding these races.

Schuylkill County Commissioners Campaign Fundraising

As you can see in the graphic above, the two Republicans who appear on the November ballot for Schuylkill County Commissioner, Larry Padora and Commissioners Chairman Boots Hetherington, have raised more than $92,000 for their campaign.

That’s more than 6x their Democrat opponents, incumbent Commissioner Gary Hess and his running mate Rita Anczarski-Baldino. They’ve raised just $14,140 in the latest round of funding.

In fact, the amount the Democrats have raised for this race is less than half the campaign till for the Republican write-in campaign waged by Mary Jo Moss, who racked up more than $30,000 in her campaign fund. Most of that, however, is her own money.

Libertarian candidate Gregory Woll has also run a mostly self-funded campaign and is doing so on a shoestring budget of less than $2,500.

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How’s this money being spent?

Based on our review of campaign finance reports we obtained through the Schuylkill County Election Bureau, nothing really stands out as to where these campaigns spent their money.

Much of the money spent from the campaigns’ war chests went to advertising.

The major parties went the legacy media route, more often than the upstarts. Mailers seem to be the promotion of choice among Republicans and Democrats.

Nearly all of Woll’s campaign money funded ads on Facebook.

Moss spent much of her money on some ads and campaign supplies.

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Who’s funding the campaigns for Schuylkill County Commissioner?

Probably the most pressing question with these fundraising totals is: Who’s putting all this money into the campaigns for Schuylkill County Commissioner?

First, there are the two self-funded campaigns. All but $350 of the $30,000+ in Moss’ campaign comes from her own funds.

Woll took $191.70 from the Mises PAC. He also got an in-kind contribution of more than $1,700 to pay for his campaign signs. The rest of the money in his campaign fund is his own.

We’ll focus mostly on the bigger donors to the major party campaigns.

For the Democrats, only four donations came in at more than $250. And one of them was $1,000 from Gary and Sandra Hess, the Commissioner’s wife.

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Schuylkill County Democratic Club kicked in $600 and Albert Evans, the owner of Evans Delivery, donated $500 to the Hess/Anczarski-Baldino campaign.

The Bricklayers & Allied Craftworker Local PAC 5 was the only other “big money” donor to the Democrats campaign for Commissioner, ponying up $350.

For the Republican candidates running for Schuylkill County Commissioner, it’s almost an embarassment of riches.

Take for instance one single recent contribution to the Padora/Hetherington campaign. It came fromt he Republican Party of PA. It was for campaign literature and production, according to the Contribution Report filed on Oct. 31.

That contribution – $18,326.12 – is more than the Democrats raised for their entire campaign. And there are more big ticket contributions made to the GOP campaign for Commissioner. That includes $1,850 from Hetherington, kicking his own money into a campaign that hardly needed the extra cash.

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Here are the other big donors (over $250):

  • $10,000: John Rich
  • $2,000: Frank Schoeneman
  • $1,650: Anthony Prudenti
  • $1,000: Debra Blaschak
  • $1,000: Nicholas Boyle
  • $1,000: Larry Wittig
  • $1,000: Patricia O’Connor
  • $1,000: Mary Kathleen O’Connor
  • $1,000: Joseph Jones
  • $1,000: Lloyd Hampton
  • $1,000: Albert L & Josette H Evans
  • $1,000: Antony Baran
  • $1,000: Christine Datte
  • $1,000: F. Dale Schoeneman
  • $1,000: John Mercuri
  • $1,000: D. Scott Kroh
  • $1,000: Paul Warner
  • $500: Sudhir Patel
  • $500: Craig Morgan
  • $500: Howard Merrick
  • $500: Michael Radocha
  • $500: Peggy Allen
  • $500: Keith Zimmerman
  • $500: Donald Fegley
  • $500: Keith Eckel
  • $500: Daniel Blaschak
  • $400: Law Office of Karen Rismiller
  • $400: Richard Wiest
  • $400: James Barton
  • $400: Paul Domalakes
  • $400: Paul Buber
  • $400: Alvin Marshall
  • $400: Gary T. Feathers
  • $400: John S. & Carol A. Boyer
  • $400: Tyler Hope
  • $400: Terry Fritz
  • $400: Jason Gradwell
  • $400: Ralph Richards
  • $400: David Moylan
  • $400: Joseph Kuperavage
  • $400: Lori & Craig Miller
  • $400: Rosemary Kramer
  • $400: William Burke
  • $400: Ronald Lindner
  • $400: John Eagan
  • $400: David Kistler
  • $300: Kathy Specht

** We’ll have a campaign finance report on the race for Court of Common Pleas on Sunday. **

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Tootsie

    November 5, 2023 at 6:59 am

    You are right, Canary, Republican fundraising is an embarrassment of riches. Wish these “deep pockets” in the county would put their $ towards a worthy cause-veterans, homeless, senior citizens, food pantries etc…It makes one wonder what future favors are being financed with these donations. No thank you, Boots & Padora!

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