Sheriff Thomas A. Beilein has far outdistanced his election opponent, Richard L. Podgers, in fund-raising, according to figures obtained from the Niagara County Board of Elections.
Beilein, seeking his third term, has outspent Podgers by nearly 4-to-1, according to financial disclosure forms filed late last week.
The documents show that Beilein has raised $42,674 this year and spent $43,787. The Democratic sheriff started the year with a war chest of $12,878. As of last week, he still had $11,766 available.
Podgers, a Lockport Republican, had raised $15,804 and spent $11,861 since forming his campaign committee at the end of April.
But as the candidates head down the stretch, Beilein was able to get a large infusion of cash from the North Tonawanda City Democratic Committee, which gave him $5,000 on Oct. 15.
Podgers, a detective lieutenant in the Lockport Police Department, has seen his fund-raising dwindle to almost nothing. His disclosure forms show that he took in only $110 in the first three weeks of October.
Meanwhile, Beilein paid $10,872 for newspaper advertising Oct. 10, an expenditure nearly equal to the total spending of the entire Podgers campaign. A direct-mail effort appears in the offing, as Beilein bought $3,600 worth of postage Wednesday.
Other than the North Tonawanda gift, Beilein's largest contributor this year has been the company headed by Smokin' Joe Anderson, the Tuscarora Indian Reservation businessman. It gave $1,500.
Other major donors are the political action committees of the two unions representing Sheriff's Department employees.
Beilein received $1,275 from the Deputy Sheriffs Association, which represents corrections officers, and $1,100 from the Police Benevolent Association, the union of patrol officers and investigators. Local 237, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, gave $800.
The largest individual contributor this year has been District Attorney Matthew J. Murphy III, who made three donations totaling $700. Peter M. Clark, superintendent of the county jail, gave $600.
Podgers' biggest donation has been $1,000 from the Hickory Club, the Lockport police officers' union, and from Joan C. White, a relative. Several officers gave $500 each, and the county GOP Committee contributed $523.
In County Legislature races, the financial filings showed that Majority Leader Shirley G. Urtel, R-Cambria, has only one-third as much money for the stretch drive as Democrat Kyle R. Andrews, a 21-year-old Niagara University student from Wilson who is challenging Urtel in the 14th District.
Andrews, who has spent $2,082, has $2,951 left, while Urtel has $1,027 left. She spent $290 in the first three weeks of October and recently did a mailing. Andrews has supplemented his advertising with phone calls from volunteers to voters' homes.
Other notable Legislature data:
Richard L. Horn spent $16,956 on his primary campaign in Niagara Falls' 3rd District, about eight times more than incumbent Samuel P. Granieri. Granieri won the Democratic and Republican primaries, anyway, although Horn's candidacy survives on five minor-party lines.
John G. Jacobs, Democratic nominee in North Tonawanda's 11th District, has plowed nearly $8,000 into his effort to replace GOP incumbent Malcolm A. Needler. But Needler had $5,266 left for the last month of the race, while Jacobs was down to $1,011.
Legislature Chairman Clyde L. Burmaster, R-Ransomville, has almost $11,000 left in his war chest. He has hinted that he is interested in running for higher office next year. His 13th District Democratic opponent, Richard A. Hastings, has a private fortune but has only spent $406 on his campaign.