In 2nd Congressional District, Matlock leads Burchett in cash on hand

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett led candidates to succeed U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr. in collecting donations but state Rep. Jimmy Matlock has more cash on hand for his campaign, according to financial disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission this week.

Duncan, who announced his retirement on July 31, still has far more campaign money than all his would-be successors combined with a reported balance of $917,303. The veteran congressman reported $52,500 in contributions received during the past quarter and continued using campaign funds to pay family members — a practice that inspired some controversy earlier this year.

Matlock’s campaign gained a financial edge over Burchett through a $75,000 personal loan. The Lenoir City legislator had $91,945 in contributions and spent $15,832. Combined with the loan, he reported a $167,545 cash-on-hand balance as a new quarter began on Oct. 1.

Burchett, a former state senator, had $140,801 in donations, spent $27,125 and reported a balance of $113,676. He reported no loans to the campaign.

Among donors to Burchett’s campaign were James A. “Jim” Haslam II, father of Gov. Bill Haslam, and his wife, Natalie, giving $1,500 each. The governor’s sister, Ann Haslam Bailey, and her husband, Steve, also gave $1,500 each.

Other Burchett donors of note: Former Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe gave $2,500 and his wife, Joan, contributed $2,600. State Rep. Martin Daniel gave $1,000 and Rep. Jason Zachary gave $2,500. A political action committee headed by former Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey gave Burchett $1,000.

Matlock got contributions from several fellow Republican legislators. Donating $1,000 each were Sen. Mike Bell or Riceville along with Reps. Kent Calfee of Kingston and Barry Doss of Leoma and a PAC operated by Rep. Kevin Brooks of Cleveland. Former state Rep. Joe Carr’s PAC also gave $1,000. Lesser amounts came from Sen. Richard Briggs of Knoxville ($250) and Reps. John Forgety of Athens and Jay Reedy of Erin – the latter two giving $500 each.

A PAC set up by state Sen. Brian Kelsey of Germantown gave $500 to both Burchett and Matlock.

There are four other Republicans who registered as candidates with the FEC. Brad Fullington and Marc Robert Whitmire both reported they had not received any contributions or spent any money on the campaign.

Kenneth Gross, a member of the state GOP Executive Committee, reported receiving $7,261 and spending $5,218, leaving a campaign balance of $2,042.

Vito Sagliano reported receiving $5,605 – virtually all in donations to his own campaign – while spending $3,191 with a balance of $1,718.

Two Democrats are vying for the party nomination in a heavily-Republican district. Psychologist Joshua Williams, who announced as a candidate in June, reported $16,628 in receipts for the quarter, spending of $37,381 and a campaign balance of $2,610. Rene Hoyos, executive director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network who became a candidate in September, reported $4,637 in contributions, $1,337 in expenditures and a balance of $3,270.

All but $1,000 of Duncan’s $52,500 in donations received in the third quarter came from PACs (most, but not all, dated before his retirement announcement). He reported spending $44,610, including $17,500 in payments to a company apparently operated solely by his son, John J. Duncan III, who the congressman has said is “in charge of my entire political operation.” There are also $1,050 in payments to his son-in-law, Jason Brown, $2,250 to his niece, Courtney Massey Kohlhepp. (Previous post HERE.)

UPDATE/Note from Georgiana Vines:

Of note in the campaign disclosures of state Rep. Jimmy Matlock, Burchett’s chief opponent at this point, is that Bandit Lites owner Michael Strickland has contributed $1,500 to the Matlock campaign. He lives with Burchett’s first wife, Allison, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to misdemeanor charges of unlawful access to the computer accounts of Nicole Strickland, estranged wife of Michael Strickland.

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