Hobbs raises most money of Sunset Hills candidates in failed re-election bid

By BURKE WASSON

Even though former Sunset Hills Mayor Jim Hobbs lost his bid for re-election April 4 to current Mayor John Hunzeker, it appears as if Hobbs did win one battle in this year’s election — the race to collect the most money.

Hobbs, whose campaign committee previously reported March 23 that it had received $15,520 in monetary and in-kind contributions, said Friday that his committee collected roughly $900 more since that time, which would put his total campaign contributions at roughly $16,420. That figure is the highest amount reported this year in Sunset Hills.

The former mayor, however, did not meet the 30-day-after-election deadline to file his final campaign finance report with the county. He said Friday that he was confused and believed he had 40 days instead of 30 days to file, but said he would be delivering his report to the election board soon.

Hobbs’ re-election committee reported March 23 that it had spent $9,996.49 on the mayor’s failed re-election efforts.

Hobbs, who was seeking his fourth two-year term as mayor, and four incumbent aldermen were defeated in the April 4 election.

As for Hunzeker, the Committee for Change in Sunset Hills-Hunzeker for Mayor group reported May 4 that it had a total of $12,721.70 in receipts toward Hunzeker’s race, and $9,721 of those funds were received as monetary contributions.

Among those contributions were two payments of $325 apiece from McBride & Sons Homes Land Development Inc. Hunzeker reported those contributions were both made April 10. The mayor previously has spoken out against a McBride project to build houses on 66 acres near Interstate 270, Highway 30 and Weber Hill Road.

Hunzeker loaned $3,000 of his own money to push his campaign fund over the $10,000 hump. He still, however, fell short of Hobbs’ mark, all of which was collected from campaign contributions.

On its May 4 final report, Hunzeker’s campaign group had spent all $12,271.20 it reported as receipts.

Of Hunzeker’s expenditures, $5,541.45 was given to RJR Consulting for print/mail brochures, $3,000 was given to the Chilenski Strategy Group/David Chilenski for consulting services on mailers and campaign strategy, $1,856.38 was reimbursed to Hunzeker for his campaign signs, $1,644 was paid to Gerald Lindhorst for general campaign consulting, $740.69 was reimbursement to Hunzeker for expenses and $500 was paid to Andrew Hunzeker for Web site design and construction.

Hunzeker also reported that $408 was given to the Wine Barrel for fund-raiser expenses, $200 was paid to Telephone Contact Inc. for automated phone service, $150.79 was paid to Vellum for fundraiser invitations, $130 was paid as a filing fee to St. Louis County, $94.39 was spent with Vellum for thank-you cards, $89.01 was spent for the Hunzeker for Mayor committee’s telephone bill, $74 was paid for the committee’s office supplies, $66.31 was paid to AT&T/SBC for phone service, $40 was given to obtaining voter data and $39 was paid for postage.

As for Hobbs, the six-year mayor’s reelection 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’ reelection committee’s treasurer duties were manned by Michael Fitzgerald and a familiar face in city government — Ward 1 Alderman Michael Sawicki.

Other Sunset Hills candidates who filed campaign finance reports this year include Ward 1 Alderman Frank Hardy, Ward 2 Alderman Thomas Hrastich and former Ward 3 Alderman Robert Brockhaus.

The remaining candidates in the April 4 election — former Ward 1 Alderman John Tipton, former Ward 2 Alderman John Smith, Ward 3 Alderman Lynn D. Flowers, Ward 4 Alderman Frank Gregory and former Ward 4 Alderman A. Ron Kaemmerer — did not file campaign fi-nance 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.

Besides the candidates, the group Citizens for a Better Sunset Hills reported April 15 that it received $9,000 in donations.

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.

Will Aschinger, who is a spokesman for both Citizens for a Better Sunset Hills and the Stop the Sunset Hills Land Grab group, said that at no time did any candidate receive any money from the group or see any of the brochures before they were mailed.

Hardy, who challenged Tipton for his seat on the board, reported May 4 to county election officials that he received $700.06 in campaign contributions.

His total receipts collected for the campaign fund — which included $1,100 in loans and some repaid debts — was $1,575. 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 April 29 was reported at a balance of $1,186 — 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 Metal Workers 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.

Brockhaus previously 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.