Welcome to the Mobile Bay Times, an electronic magazine devoted to the politics, people, places, issues and history, food and good times in the Mobile Bay area. Please check back for regular updates, features and commentary. Subscribe for just 16 cents a day. Ad slots available for every budget.
Rich gets richer
Ashley Rich closes money gap
in GOP DA race with Mark Erwin
By Chip Drago
Mobile Bay Times
Ashley Rich narrowed the money gap smartly in her contest with Mark Erwin for the GOP nomination for Mobile County District attorney, according to campaign financial records.
RIch reported contributions totaling $90,895 for the period. Erwin raised $70,290 for the same reporting period. Erwin, who entered the race well ahead of the assistant district attorney, began the stage with a balance of almost $35,000.
With less than six weeks to go before their match-up in the June 1 primary, Erwin, a former chairman of the Mobile County Republican Party and municipal judge for Saraland, had an ending balance of $82,808.91 while Rich showed $61,306.15.
Erwin announced his campaign last fall while Rich, also a member of the Mobile County Republican Executive Committee, waited on her boss, veteran Democratic politician and longtime Mobile County District Attorney John Tyson Jr. to decide whether or not to seek re-election to the office he has held since 1994. In 1996, Tyson hired Rich who now heads the office's murder team.
Ultimately, Tyson backed away from a re-election bid and accepted an appointment from GOP Gov. Bob Riley as head of the governor's anti-illegal bingo task force. Over the years in Mobile County, a number of controversial investigations and prosecutions with political implications seemed to sap Tyson's political strength, both among his Democratic base as well as independents who enabled him to be the only Mobile County Democrat to hold a non-judicial, countywide elective office. Three local circuit judges still hold their positions as Democrats.
Former U.S. Attorney Don Foster qualified to run as a Democrat in the district attorney's race in the general election in November. Foster served for six years in the administrations of President Bill Clinton.
Tyson, who remains a Democrat as of Wednesday, April 21, was (along with his wife, Beth) one of the larger contributors to his underling's campaign at $2,000.
Other contributions had unusual wrinkles: former City Councilman Bess Rich (no relation) and businessman Elliot Maisel contributed to both campaigns. Ex-Mayor Mike Dow backed Erwin with a $1,000 contribution while Dow's partner and brother-in-law Jim Busby gave Rich $500. Plaintiff law firm Cunningham Bounds gave Erwin $2,500 which was offset by associate Greg Breedlove's $2,500 donation to Rich.
Among Rich's supporters were:
- Mr. and Mrs. David Cooper, $1,000; Marie Dyson, $1,000; Madonia Services, $500; Tonia R. Henderson, $2,500; Tara G. Waldron, $200;
- George and Joan Waldron, $100; Earl McDonald, $100; Jonathan P. Gardberg, $1,000; Christine Cumbie, $1,000;
- Emery E. Baya, $500; John White-Spunner, $1,000; Jim and Pat Eberlein, $100; Mary O'Dell, $100; James L. Busby, $500;
- Gail Stilwell Maids, $100; Bradley Dombroski, $100; John Toomey, $500; Ann Bedsole, $1,000; Robert Tuttle, $100; Robert Ingram, $100;
- Arthur Cross, $500; Daniel Dunaway, Sr., $1,000; Mary L. Cousar, $100; Ritchie Hurt, $1,000; Sharon and Bryan Hill, $200; Axel Duhr, $100;
- Martha Tierney, $100; Walter and Thalea Smith McCarroll, $500; W. Boyd Reeves, $100; Alex Page, $1,000; Dr. Roxanna Stewart, $250; Mark Stafford, $500;
- Robert Ross, $500; John and Beth Tyson, $2,000; Jerry and Bunny Walker, $100; Carl and Mary Engerson, $100; Daniel McCleave and Nicki Patterson, $1,000;
- Makeda Nichols, $250; Henry Caddell, $100; GNS and Associates, $500; Wright Brand Oysters, $200; Rodriguez Boat Builders, $200; W.D. Conklin, Jr., $500;
- Pruitt Woodall, $200; William Cox, $2,000; Greg Breedlove, $2,500; George Ward, $500; Ken McElhaney, $100; Cheryl West, $100; Margaret Fillingim, $100;
- Robert Crow, $100; Jeffrey Luther, $250; Kathy Bronstein, $1,000; Mary Margaret Bailey, $150; William Drew, Jr., $100; John and Karen Krolinkowski, $100;
- William Christian and Norma Pharr, $1,000; Stephen and Kim Calder, $100; Mary Ann Friedlander, $500; Herbert Rich, $200; William McAleer, $200;
- Glenda Smith, $100; James Gardner, $100; Gregory McAtee, $250; Thomas Bennett, $200; Charles Gray, $125; Michael Holberg, $100; Joe Connick III, $100;
- Rick Courtney, $100; P.T. Hensley, $500; P&H Construction, $500; Mark Kirkpatrick, $250; Stephen Schumann, $250; G.L. Lickman, $100; Thomas Bailey, $100;
- Joyce Cureton, $100; Daniel Dunaway, $500; Teddy McDermott, $500; Timothy Morales, $250; Joe Cain Parading Society, $100; James Baldwin, $100;
- Charles Fraim, $200; Carter Drane, $100; George Waldron, $100; Thomas Calhoun, $200; Jack and Susan Bryan, $100; Scott and Jennifer Chaltain, $500;
- Robert Napier, $250; Ashley White, $100; Joseph Connick III, $100; Rudene Crowe, $200; Richard Williams, $100; Robert J. Baggett, $500;
- James Pitcock, $250; Allen McLean, Jr., $100; Paul Scott, $350; Carlisle Medical, $500; Charles Weatherbee, $100; Andrea Lyons, $250; David Cherniak, $200;
- TE PAC -TN, $200; Cherie Ferebee, $100; Burton Clark, $150; Benjamin Colbert, $500; Richard Taylor, $2,000; Linda Jensen, $200; John Carwie, $100;
- Ralph Buffkin, $250; Wendell and Anne Jeffcoat, $500; Jackie McConaha, $100; Ann Bedsole, $500; Moore-Debrow, $150; Mary Cox, $200;
- Allen Cox, $1,000; Carter Drane, $250; Habib Yazdi, $300; Clifton C. Inge, $500; Erling Riis, III, $100; DA-PAC, $18,000*; Elliot Maisel, $2,000;
- Vivian Rich, $800; Craig M. Pool, $500; Jeffrey Schmitz, $100; Charles Jackson Jr., $200; Joseph Lomax, $1,500; Richardson, Spear, Spear and Hamby PC, $500;
- Thomas Ollinger, Jr., $250; Nathan L. Cox, $200; Greg Hughes, $250; Randy Billingsley, $500; Wayne Keith, $100; Ed Fields, $100; Stova McFadden, $100;
- (Mobile City Council President) Reggie Copeland, $200; Bernie Fogarty, $250; Amos Engineering, $150; Melody and Larry Cagle, $200;
- Leonard and Bess Rich, $500; Carol and Bob McArthur, $100; Andrew and Linda Clausen, $1,000; David Broome, $1,000; Jim Atchison, $1,000;
- Greg Bowen, $400; Earl McDonald, $1,000; Maureen Baldy, $500; Norman Wood, $100; Darryl Fairchild, $100; Rebecca Carson, $100;
- Kamco Triple Net LLC, $250; Brian and Jeanna Chappell, $250; Donald Beebe, $1,000; MDI Media Group, $250; Marsha Grant, $1,000; Janet Rich, $2,000; and Eiland and Ritchie, $500.
Contributors to DA PAC which passed along almost all of its receipts to Rich included:
- Eiland and Ritchie, $5,000; David E. Pearce, $100; General Insulation, $1,000; Chad Brown, $250; Laura Hitson, $1,000;
- Marsha Howard, $250; Graham Shrimp Co., $500; George R. Montgomery, $1,000; Michael Montgomery, $1,500;
- Dobson Sheet Metal and Roofing, $1,000; SSI Group, $5,000; Madonia Services, $500; and EPT Inc., $1,000.
Erwin's contributors for the disclosure period include:
- Alford, Clausen & McDonald, $500; Bancorpsouth Bank PAC, $500; Callaghan's Irish Social Club, $150; Chris Naman, $700; Cunningham Bounds LLC, $2,500;
- DVA/HC PAC, $500; Delaney Development, $500; Dyer Trucking Service, $300; Bill Wasden, $100; Jean Powers, $250; Jene W. Owens, Jr., $500;
- Jennifer B. Vellianitis, $750; Kirby's Spectrum Collision, $500; Kittrell & Rowan, $500; Danny Mims, $1,000; Michael D. Barber, $500;
- Miscellaneous cash contributions, $2,350; Neal Buchman, $1,000; Pollman's Bake Shop, $500; RSVPAC, $1,000; Sonny Callahan and Associates, $500;
- Superior Masonry, $500; Suzanne McPeek, $750; Taylor Services, $500; Terry Jones & Associates, $350; Ted Hall, $100; Ulmer Properties, $250;
- Velco Inc., $500; Volkert & Associates, $500; Westpac, $500; William H. Brehm, $1,000; Mr. and Mrs. C.L. Chandler, $100; Winston M. Ashurst II, $500;
- Clay Barclay IV, $100; G. Brent Barkin, $500; C. William Barnhill, $1,000; Jaime or Sydney Betbeze, $100; Mildred and William Blass, $100;
- Judith and Foy Bobo, $100; F.D. Brown, $500; Thomas L. Busby, $1,000; miscellaneous contributions, $490; Daniel S. Cushing, $250;
- Stephen Dampier, $500; Ron Davis Campaign Account, $500; Merrill and Martha Davison, $500; Michael C. Dow, $1,000; Brett and Linda Dungan, $500;
- David A. Evans, $250; L.J. Friedman, $1,000; Marshall and Joan Gardner, $500; Donald and Jeanette Greene, $500; Mr. and Mrs. W.K. Grisham, $200;
- James and Joy Grodnick, $250; Robert A. Guthans Jr., $800; Tami S. Guthans, $100; Palmer C. Hamilton, $500; Michele and Patrick Hand, $200;
- Stephen and Andrea Hand, $100; Terry and Mary Harbin, $500; Lamar Harrison, $1,500; Sandy Howard, $1,000; Deborah and Scott Hunter, $250;
- Joseph S. "Rusty" Johnston, $250; D R Jordan Sr., $500; Donald and Peggy Kelly, $1,000; Michael and Barbara Knight, $200; Terry M. Lathan, $250;
- Goodman Ledyard, $500; William M. "BJ" Lyon Jr., $300; Elliot Maisel, $2,500; Dr. Mike Maitre Sr., $500; Todd and Mary Martin, $500; Edward Massey, $500;
- Normond and Felicia McAllister, $1,000; Susan McConnell, $1,000; Joseph and Catherine McGowin, $500; Adam J. Metcalfe, $500; Brian P. Metcalfe, $500;
- Matt Metcalfe, $5,000; Lee Metzger, $500; Harris V. Morrissette, $500; Michael T. Murphy, $350; Louis J. Naman, D.M.D., $500; John and Ava Nixon, $500;
- Hank and Marsha Oakes, $100; N. Price Oliver III, $250; Celinda and Brian Overstreet, $250; LA PAC, $2,500; John Peavy, $500; E.B. Peebles III, $500; Abram L. Phillips, Jr., $200; Fred and Rose Pollman, $500;
- George Radcliff and Toni Pearce, $2,000; Austin and Frankie Rainwaters, $500; Allen R. Ratliff, $200; Leonard and Bess Rich, $250; B.O. and Marie Richardson, $250;
- Jay and Emily Richardson, $300; Rayford J. Richardson, $1,000; Tim Richardson, $1,000; Robert A. Guthans, $100; John and Frances Saint, $1,000;
- Mr. and Mrs. Kirk C. Shaw, $250; Christopher A. Smith, $500; W.S. Stimpson, $1,000; Jeremy and Rachael Taylor, $250; Bryan Thames, $100; Merrill P. Thomas, Sr., $100;
- Michael and Charlene Thompson, $500; Donnie and Shannon Tyler, $500; Dr. William and Marietta Urquhart, $1,000; Paul and Ramona Weaver, $250;
- Joseph and Victoria White, $150; Jay A. York, $1,000.