While campaign spending on the Floyd circuit judge’s race was the highest among such races in the state, the same cannot be said of the local judge-executive’s race.
Floyd County only ranked second-highest in that race.
The $272,355 spent between Ben Hale, Mike Pennington and Bennie Lafferty fell just shy of matching the $277,111 spent in a high-stakes heads-up match in Kenton County, between Steve Arlinghaus and Kris Knochelmann. Pike County’s race ranked a distant third, at $218,040, and was the only other race in the state to exceed $200,000.
But while Floyd was only second in total spending, one local candidate took home the crown as the state’s biggest spender in judge-executive’s races, even if he took home nothing else.
Eventual second-place finisher Mike Pennington spent $194,300, with the bulk of that amount — $158,500 — coming out of his own pocket. Kenton County’s Arlinghaus was a close second in spending, at $187,663.
By comparison, winner Ben Hale raised a total of $87,050, but only spent $67,915 of it in cruising to victory by a margin of 7,858 votes to Pennington’s 4,709.
Lafferty finished a distant third in both finances and votes, spending $10,140 and receiving and even 1,000 votes.
The eventual outcome of the race could have perhaps been seen in how Hale and Pennington raised their money. While Pennington largely spent his own money on the race, Hale received most of his through supporter donations. Hale received donations from 100 supporters, for a total of $64,050, and only contributed $23,000 of his own money to the race. Pennington, by comparison, only received 38 donations, totaling $35,600.