$14k on fluoride campaign tops Clark County election spending

Signs along North Fountain Avenue for and against flouride in the water in Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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Signs along North Fountain Avenue for and against flouride in the water in Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Campaign finance reports filed earlier this month show advocates of a campaign to add fluoride to Springfield’s water supply spent about $14,200 to promote the effort, the largest expenditure for any local race in November’s election.

Post-general election campaign finance reports provided by the Clark County Board of Elections show a committee called Citizens Together For Good Health received about $3,800 in contributions since the previous finance report had been filed, and had almost $12,000 on hand as the campaign neared Election Day.

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That committee spent the bulk of its money — more than $8,000 — with Shiftology Communications, a Springfield advertising firm, on outreach, advertising and postcards, according to a statement of expenditures attached to the finance report.

The issue asked voters to consider adding fluoride to the city of Springfield’s water supply. About 54 percent of voters rejected the proposal, compared to 46 percent in favor. Those in favor of the move argued it would improve oral health in the city but opponents said there are other ways for residents to take care of their teeth and the city water should be left alone. No organized opposition filed campaign finance reports.

Finance reports showed the Community Health Foundation was the biggest contributor to the fluoride campaign in the latest campaign finance cycle, providing a check for $2,500 in October.

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Finance reports also show incumbent Republican Clark County Commissioner Richard Lohnes heavily outspent his Democratic challenger Seth Evans.

Campaign finance reports showed Lohnes had about $17,200 on hand for the election and spent about $12,000 on the race. The largest expenditure listed was $9,700 to Armstrong Printing in Springfield for postcards. The largest contributor listed in the latest finance report was Sherman R. Kapp, of Springfield, who provided $400 to the campaign to re-elect Lohnes.

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Evans said his campaign spent about $1,700 on the race. The Springfield News-Sun requested all post-election campaign finance reports from the Clark County Board of Elections, but didn’t receive a copy of Evans’ report. Evans said his campaign filed a post-election report, but the board of elections was closed Wednesday when the Springfield News-Sun attempted to follow up.

Lohnes won re-election with 61 percent of the vote, compared to 39 percent for Evans.

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Incumbent Republican Clark County Auditor John Federer ran unopposed for his seat. The reports showed his campaign had a little more than $9,100 on hand for the election and didn’t have any expenditures.

A group called Elderly United of Springfield and Clark County Ohio Inc. spent about $4,700 on the campaign for an additional levy for United Senior Services. The Clark County senior services levy was approved with 65 percent of voters in favor and 35 percent opposed, according to the board of elections.

The Springfield News-Sun previously reported the 1.4 mill additional levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 home approximately $49 per year. The additional revenue will cover costs to meet growing demand for in-home services such as meal deliveries and providing personal care aides, for example.

In Champaign County, the largest expenditure was from Citizens for Graham Schools, which spent $2,533 in a failed attempt to encourage voters to approve an earned income tax levy. Voters rejected the levy question 55 to 45 percent, according to the Champaign County Board of Elections. It was the third time voters rejected the levy.

Finance reports also show the CCHS Champaign Committee spent about $2,000 in the last election cycle for a tax increase for the Champaign County Historical Society. Voters rejected the proposed five-year, 0.3-mill additional museum tax levy.

Other reports in Champaign County include:

• Citizens for Selvaggio had no expenditures, but carried forward $252 from the last campaign finance report. The group supports Champaign County Common Pleas Court Judge Nick Selvaggio.

• The JSP Fire District reported no expenditures. Voters approved a five-year, 2.5-mill renewal levy for the Johnson St. Paris Fire District for fire protection and emergency services.

• Citizens for Triad Local Schools reported $1,000 in contributions from the Springfield Board of Realtors and no expenditures.

• The Champaign County Children Services Levy Committee reported $304 in expenditures.

• Urbana Citizens for Public Safety reported $819 in expenditures.

Complete coverage

The Springfield News-Sun provides unmatched coverage of local elections in Clark and Champaign counties, including stories digging into school levies and other tax issues.

By the numbers:

$14,251 — Expenditures by Citizens Together for Good Health

$12,167 — Expenditures by Citizens for Lohnes

$819 — Expenditures by Urbana Citizens for Public Safety

$2,533 — Expenditures by Citizens for Graham Schools

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