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Chip Drago
Mobile Bay Times

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GOP sheriff hopefuls raise cash
in battle to succeed Tillman

By Chip Drago
Mobile Bay Times
The race for the Republican nomination for Mobile County sheriff has the makings for as exciting a finish as anything the Kentucky Derby is likely to provide, judging by recent campaign financial reports.

The pre-election reports show that retired Mobile Police Chief and rookie political candidate Sam Cochran raised the most money for the period, but Chief Deputy Mark Barlow entered the final six weeks of the campaign with the most cash available. Deputy Kyle Callaghan was also in the mix, ranking third in contributions and second in expenditures. Apparent darkhorse GOP hopefuls Bobby Hartmann and Rick Daves had no reports on file with state officials.

The GOP primary is June 6.

Reports for the period showed Cochran with cash contributions of $101,965. He had in-kind contributions of $9,400, expenditures of $78,224.78 and a closing balance of $23,740.22. That Cochran shows less available cash on-hand in the campaign's final six weeks is perhaps misleading because he has paid for television commercials which have not yet aired.

Barlow ended the period with a balance of $51,608.39 after raising $80,501 in cash contributions, another $5,760.81 in in-kind contributions and holding expenditures down to $28,892.61.

Both Cochran and Barlow showed opening balances of zero.

Callaghan opened the period with $297.76 in his campaign's account. He raised $46,865 in itemized cash contributions and another $1,785 in non-itemized cash contributions for a total of $48,650. With $23,846.16 in in-kind contributions, Callaghan was far and away the leader in that category. After total expenditures of $37,681.74, Callaghan ended the period with a remaining balance of $11,266.02.

Among Cochran's contributors were:

The Cochran campaign returned a few contributions as follows: Ralph W. Bennett/Bennett Restoration, $1,000; Chris Brewer, $500; Charter Tire LLC, $1,000; and Gordon Waller, $500.

In-kind contributors to the Cochran campaign included: Mobile Lumber, $5,000; Original Oyster House, $1,000; Cooper T's, $1,000; Rod Kennedy, $500; Billy McGill, $400; Carl Johnson, $500; and Todd and Elizabeth McCain, $1,000.

Cochran's major expenditures included about $72,000 to Sullivan St. Clair, a local advertising firm.

Among the contributors to Barlow were:

Among the Barlow campaign's in-kind contributors were Mobile Asphalt, $1200; and Jay Todia, $2,000.

His biggest expenditure was $11,773 to Timbes & Yeager, a Mobile advertising agency.

The Callaghan campaign's contributors included:

Major in-kind contributors to Callaghan included: George Radcliff, $4,000 (food/beverage & other); and Harry Baker, $10,500 (rent).

Callaghan's chief expenditures were $15,000+ to Harrelson and Kalifeh for advertising assistance; about $7,500 to ABC Signs; and $2,178 to MH3 for advertising.