SHEFFIELD TWP. — Judge Lisa Swenski has spent more on her re-election campaign than all of her opponents combined in the Democratic primary.
Campaign finance reports, the most recent of which were due Thursday to the county Board of Elections, showed Swenski spent $71,970 in her bid for re-election as Lorain County Common Pleas Court Domestic Relations judge. Defense attorney Jack Bradley spent $31,018, Magistrate Charlita Anderson White $17,733 and defense attorney Michael Duff $3,685.
Bradley’s campaign had the most monetary contributions from donors with $27,164, followed by $18,786 to Swenski’s campaign and $15,673 to Anderson White. Duff, who has been very vocal about self-funding his entire campaign, had only one contribution listed on his report, a $500 check from himself.
Bradley said he expected each of the candidates to spend quite a bit of money.
“When you have a four-candidate race, I think you have to spend money to get your message out to the voters,” he said. “I expected that everyone would be in that $25,000 to $35,000 range.”
While he said he was surprised at how much Swenski has spent, Bradley said he’s not going to fault her for it.
“You do what you think you need to do to get your message out,” he said. “If we had a campaign finance law that said you could only spend so much money, I would certainly respect that. I’m not going to go into competition with the other candidates to see who can spend the most money. I don’t think spending the most money should equate with winning the election either.”
Anderson White said her plan never was to spend a lot of money on the campaign.
“I’m the underdog here. I never intended to spend a lot of my own money,” she said. “We had several fundraisers and meet-and-greets at people’s homes. We asked people to give what they could. I think I have a pretty good, sound ground game. We did not want to overspend.”
Anderson White also said she feels she didn’t need to spend a lot of money to get her name out, since she is heavily involved in the community.
“I don’t know how to respond to the fact that others spent more money than me,” she said. “I don’t think that matters.”
Duff said he felt the campaign finance reports proved what his entire campaign has been about.
“It sounds like Swenski and Bradley have their hands out to lawyers who are contributing big time to their campaigns,” he said. “That is exactly what I’m campaigning against — money from lawyers. That corrupts the whole judicial system. They’re part of the problem.”
Swenski did not respond to requests for comment.
The winner of the May 8 primary election most likely will not face an opponent in the November general election.
- Judge Frank Janik says Judge Lisa Swenski upset over campaign donations
- Source: Judge Swenski sought firing of Bar Association director
- 3 candidates have filed bankruptcy in past
- Judicial candidate distributes mailer with partial quote
- A look at voting in race for Lorain County Domestic Relations judge
- 2018 Primary Election Guide: Lorain County Domestic Relations Judge's Race
- Judicial candidates tout qualifications at Bar Association event
- Firetruck causes ruckus in Sheffield Lake
- Diversity main topic at CHIP election forum
- Bar Association recommends all local judge candidates -- except one
- May primary will feature crowded domestic relations judge's race
- Bradley announces bid for domestic relations judge
- Attorney pulls petitions to run for domestic relations judge
- Two pull petitions to challenge Domestic Relations Judge Swenski in Democratic primary