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Conley leads fundraising, spending in county judge race

A former Hays County Commissioner vying for the county judge seat is starting to pull away from opponents when it comes to political spending and contributions.

Will Conley, an uncontested Republican candidate in the race for county judge, collected $125,801 in campaign contributions from July-December 2017, according to a Jan. 16 campaign finance report.

Of that amount, roughly $17,000 in political contributions was given by 11 Political Action Committees. Conley received a $500 contribution from Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler and an additional $500 from Pct. 4 Commissioner Ray Whisenant. 

According to the report, Conley spent $74,965 on his campaign and still has $125,797 in his war chest.

Conley’s total contributions and expenses vastly exceed Ruben Becerra and Abel Velasquez, who will battle for the Democratic nomination in the March 6 primary.

Becerra and Velasquez have not collected any political contributions so far, with Becerra so far spending $750 toward his campaign, according to a report submitted on Jan. 16.

Political fundraising and spending for the Republican nomination in the Pct. 2 Commissioner race has also been a lopsided affair. Incumbent Mark Jones raked in $18,100 in contributions from July to December 2017, according to his Jan. 16 report.

Ten PAC’s donated a total of $8,250 to Jones’ campaign during the reporting period.

Jones has only spent $4,150 on his campaign so far, and still holds $15,636 in his war chest.

Russell Cronshey, who is running against Jones as the lone Democrat, has not received any political contributions or made any expenses as of a Jan. 16 report.

Meanwhile in the race for the Pct. 3 commissioner seat, Republican incumbent Lon Shell has spent $12,623 on his campaign.

Colin McFerrin, who is running against Shell for the Republican nomination, has spent $8,158 toward his campaign.

Jimmy Hall, who is running against Jayme Sutton for the Democratic nomination in the Pct. 3 Commissioner race, has spent $750 toward his campaign. Sutton’s campaign finance report was not available prior to press time.

In the race for the Republican nomination for the Pct. 4 Commissioner, candidate Walt Smith has collected more in political contributions and spent more toward his campaign than his lone opponent.

Smith culled $26,120 in political contributions from October to December 2017. During that time, Smith spent $9,116 on his campaign. Smith has roughly $9,600 left in remaining contributions.

Jimmy Skipton, who is running against Smith, collected $800 toward his campaign, and has $50 left in his war chest.

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