If Tuesday’s election were decided by campaign contributions, then Sunset Hills Mayor Jim Hobbs easily would be the people’s choice over challenger Jim Hunzeker.
Campaign finance reports submitted by both men to the county Board of Election Commissioners show that Hobbs has received more than twice the amount of money contributed to his re-election committee than Hunzeker has to his election fund.
The Hobbs Re-Election Committee reports that $15,520 in monetary and in-kind contributions had been collected as of March 23. Of that sum, Hobbs’ re-election committee had spent $9,996.49. The report indicated the committee still had $5,198.51 in hand March 23 and owed no money.
The Committee for Change in Sunset Hills-Hunzeker for Mayor group reported March 27 that it had a total of $10,375 in receipts toward Hunzeker’s race, but $7,375 of those funds were received as monetary contributions.
Hunzeker took out roughly $3,000 in loans to push his campaign fund over the $10,000 hump. He still, however, fell short of Hobbs’ $15,520 mark, all of which was collected from campaign contributions.
As of March 27, Hunzeker’s campaign group had spent $6,156.30 and still owed another $4,366.79. The Hunzeker for Mayor committee’s money in hand on that date was $5,585.49.
Of Hunzeker’s expenditures, $2,600 was given to RJR Consulting for print/mail brochures, $1,856.38 was reimbursed to Hunzeker for his campaign signs, $769 was paid to Gerald Lindhorst for general campaign consulting, $408 was given to the Wine Barrel for fund-raiser expenses, $150.79 was paid to Vellum for fund-raiser invitations, $130 was paid as a filing fee to St. Louis County, $89.01 was spent for the Hunzeker for Mayor committee’s telephone bill, $74 was paid for the committee’s office supplies, $40 was given to obtaining voter data and $39 was paid for postage.
As for Hobbs, the six-year mayor’s re-election committee paid $5,500 to WAC Industries for printing and mailing campaign material, $1,090 to the South County Times for advertising, $906 to the Call for advertising, $718.38 to the Suburban Journals for advertising, $417.11 to Neon & Fluorescent Supply for campaign signs and $440 for a St. Louis County voter list, stamps, office supplies and various lunches and breakfasts.
Hobbs’ re-election committee’s treasurer duties were manned by Michael Fitzgerald and a familiar face in city government — Ward 1 Alderman Michael Sawicki.
Other candidates who filed campaign finance reports include Ward 1 aldermanic challenger Frank Hardy, Ward 2 aldermanic hopeful Thomas Hrastich and longtime Ward 3 Alderman Robert Brockhaus.
The remaining candidates in Tuesday’s election — Ward 1 Alderman John Tipton, Ward 2 Alderman John Smith, Ward 3 aldermanic challenger Lynn D. Flowers, Ward 4 Alderman A. Ron Kaemmerer and Ward 4 aldermanic challenger Frank Gregory — have not filed campaign finance reports. Only candidates who collect or spend $1,000 in preparation for an election are required to file campaign finance reports, according to the county Board of Election Commissioners.
At this point, Brockhaus is the only Sunset Hills candidate not required to file who still has submitted a report of his finances.
Besides the candidates, the group Citizens for a Better Sunset Hills reported March 27 that it had received $5,500 in donations — $1,500 from John Wilson and $4,000 from Shirley Aschinger, who is the mother of Stop the Sunset Hills Land Grab spokesman Will Aschinger. Of that money, Citizens for a Better Sunset Hills reported paying a total of $5,290 to Pelican Printing to print and mail brochures on behalf of Hunzeker, Hardy, Hrastich, Flowers and Gregory.
Hardy, who challenged Tipton for his seat on the board, reported March 27 to county election officials that he has received $375 in campaign contributions.
He also took out $1,100 in loans to aid his campaign funds, which brought his campaign fund to $1,575 on March 27. Of that $1,575, Hardy had spent $1,529.78 by his reporting date. That left the money in hand in his campaign fund at $45.22.
Of his campaign expenditures, Hardy paid $1,113.82 to Marvel Printing, $370.96 to the N&F Supply Co., $40 to St. Louis County for computer time and $5 to Sunset Hills for the city’s candidate filing fee.
Another candidate trying to push an incumbent out of his Sunset Hills ward seat was Hrastich, who took on Smith.
Hrastich’s campaign fund on March 23 was reported at a balance of $1,121 — but $1,021 of that amount was given to the fund by Hrastich himself. The only other campaign contribution that Hrastich reported at that time was $100 given to him from Sheet Metalworkers Local 36.
Hrastich’s campaign expenses — which he reported totaling $1,049.16 — included paying $612.64 to Mark’s Quick Printing Inc. for campaign literature on March 6 and paying $436.52 to the same company again on March 10 for more campaign material and mailing. He also reported paying the $5 candidate filing fee to Sunset Hills.
As of March 23, Hrastich reported a balance of $71.84 in his campaign fund with no money owed.
Brockhaus reported donating $500 to his campaign and spending $455.40 — $415.90 was spent at Hampton Sign-A-Rama and $40 was spent for a mailing list.