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Reports show wide variance in campaign finance

District 20 legislative candidates show a great disparity on how they raised money -- and how much they raised -- to run for office this year.

The pre-election filing deadline for campaign finance reports was Oct. 22.

State Sen. Mike Vehle, R-Mitchell, raised nearly $15,000, with almost half of that coming from political action committees (PACs).

Independent Steve "Sibby" Sibson, one of Vehle's two opponents in the race for the district's one state Senate seat, has completely self-funded his campaign, contributing $7,953.50.

The third candidate in the race, Democrat Susan Thie, has raised nearly $4,000, with almost all of that coming from the Davison County Democratic Party.

District 20 consists of Davison and Aurora counties. The election is Tuesday.

Vehle had received $14,693.63 in cash and in-kind donations and spent $9,908.10 by the reporting deadline. He had $7,155.74 cash on hand.

Vehle raised $7,200 from PACS, including $1,000 from a PAC called Independent Community Bankers of South Dakota that is based in Mitchell.

He also received $750 from South Dakota RPAC, a Realtors PAC, and $500 from a South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations PAC.

Aside from the Mitchell PAC, almost all the PACs are based in Pierre. Vehle did receive donations from PACs in Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Deadwood.

He also received $650 from three PAC donations outside the state: $300 from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe PAC based in Fort Worth, Texas; $250 from WellPAC in Des Moines, Iowa; and $100 from the Otter Tail PAC in Wahpeton, N.D.

Vehle raised $6,140 in direct contributions, including $200 from former U.S. Sen. Jim Abdnor, R-S.D. Vehle worked for Abdnor in the 1970s.

Davison County Republicans gave him an in-kind donation of $1,175 by allowing him to use billboards. Vehle did not contribute any money to his campaign.

As of her report, Thie had raised $2,075 and had spent $395.66 of that at the reporting deadline, leaving her with $1,679.34 cash on hand.

Thie received $1,525 from the Davison County Democratic Central Committee.

She also received $250 from Cheryl Chapman of Rapid City, the chairwoman of the state Democratic Party, and $250 from the South Dakota Educators Political Involvement Committee. She contributed $50 herself.

Sibson had spent all $7,953.50 he contributed to his campaign by the reporting deadline.

House race

In the three-way District 20 House race for two seats, state Rep. Lance Carson, R-Mitchell, raised $9,167.08. Republican hopeful Tona Rozum raised $5,440, and independent candidate Becky Haslam raised $3,945.

Carson had spent $3,836.20 and had $5,330.88 cash on hand at the reporting deadline.

Carson received $6,225 from PACS, including $1,500 from the South Dakota Corngrowers Association PAC; $500 from the state Realtors PAC, the state Association of Healthcare Organizations PAC and the South Dakota Medical PAC. He also received $400 from the Six-PAC, the political arm of the state beverage industry.

Carson did not contribute any cash to his campaign. He had $2,193.08 cash on hand before the campaign started and has raised $749 in direct contributions from individuals.

Rozum raised $716 from PACs, including $300 from the South Dakota Realtors PAC and $200 from the South Dakota Retailers Association PAC. She had also collected $700 in direct contributions and $1,415 in in-kind contributions. Most of that, $1,175, came from the Davison County Republicans in the form of billboards.

Rozum did not contribute any cash to her campaign. She had spent $2,896.34 and had $2,643.66 cash on hand at the reporting deadline.

Haslam had received $3,025 from the Davison County Democratic Central Committee and another $100 from the state party, as well as $250 from state Democratic Party Chairwoman Cheryl Chapman.

She had not received any PAC money but had received $820 in direct contributions. She contributed $30 to her campaign.

Haslam had spent $3,512.04 by the reporting deadline and had $462.96 cash on hand.