'Money matters' when it comes to campaigns

(WBIR) It's a question that gets asked time and time again during an election: does money matter?

"Oh yeah, absolutely," said Mike Cohen, an Inside Tennessee panelist. "Money always matters in every campaign. It certainly doesn't guarantee victory but there are things you have to do to try to win and money helps pay for them."

On Tuesday night, Knox County voters reelected Sheriff Jimmy "JJ" Jones to another term in office by a wide margin. For his campaign, Jones raised about $268,000. That is more than four times the amount Bobby Waggoner raised ($64,180), who came in second.

But it is not all about money; name recognition helps.

"If you have a name that's either part of a famous family name that's involved in politics, or maybe in another local seat and you're trying to move up one level-- that name recognition can be as helpful," said Dr. Mark O'Gorman, a political science professor at Maryville College.

Ed Shouse (R) will take on Jim Berrier (D) in August for the seat of Knox County trustee.

He beat his two Republican opponents in the primary, including Craig Leuthold.

"So we had two names that were known by the Knoxville voter and so-- I had to try to separate myself from him and get my message out," Shouse said.

But Shouse was able to win with less money.

According to candidates' financial disclosures, April 29 was the last report for money raised. It is likely they raised and spent more money after that.

However, these are the amounts raised for each primary campaign:
Leuthold - $48,460
Shouse - $33,225
Barry Hawkins - $8,950

That is compared to his general election opponent, Jim Berrier, who raised $5,910 as the lone Democrat.

Shouse will now start over for the general election.

"If you got it, you need to spend it. Or else, say you get beat by 20 votes and you got money in the bank, you would be second guessing yourself forever," Shouse said.

According to Shouse, leftover money from a campaign can be donated to charity or to another political campaign. He said, in the past when he has had leftover money from a campaign, he has used it for expenses related to that office.

10News Mike Donila compiled campaign finance numbers through the Knox County website.


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