MONTGOMERY – In Senate District 11, incumbent Jerry Fielding lags behind his challenger, state Rep. Jim McClendon, in fundraising for the Republican primary.
McClendon, of Springville, reported $174,180 in campaign money at the end of October, while Fielding, of Sylacauga, had only $50,742.
Both candidates recorded $5,000 donations in October from the Trust Representing Involved Alabama Lawyers, or TRIAL, a group funded by law firms from around the state. McClendon said the group is what it appears to be – lawyers who want to weigh in on policies that affect lawyers.
"I've worked with them in the past," McClendon said. "They're a presence in the State House."
Attempts to reach Fielding for comment Tuesday were unsuccessful. Shelby County resident Ron Crumpton, who has announced his candidacy for the seat as a Democrat, has not yet filed fundraising paperwork. Candidates don’t have to file until they’ve raised $1,000.
Rep. Becky Nordgren, R-Gadsden, ended the month with $33,486. Her biggest donation was $11,000 from Alabama 2014 PAC, a group set up by former Gov. Bob Riley to assist GOP candidates. Her Democratic opponent Michael Gladden reported having $24,372 at month's end, after raising $3,125 in October.
Some unopposed candidates sit on sizable war chests. Rep. Randy Wood, R-Saks, reported $115,512, and pulled in donations mostly from local residents and businesses in October. Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston, reported having $99,154. Neither has an opponent yet.
Marsh raised $43,000 of his campaign cash in October, including $10,000 from TRIAL, $10,000 from Retailers of Alabama PAC and $10,000 from Select Management Resources of Alpharetta, Ga. According to Bloomberg.com, Select Management is a title-loan company that gave to super PACs in 2012.
Marsh said he appreciated the donation from Select Management, but was surprised by it. He said he sponsored one of two bills intended to regulate the payday loan industry in the last legislative session.
“I think that those people, even though they looked at the legislation as controversial to them, still saw the process as a fair one,” he said.
Rep. K.L. Brown, R-Jacksonville, has $18,325. Brown's Democratic opponent in the District 40 race, Ted Copland, hasn't filed finance paperwork yet, and isn't required to until he has raised $1,000.
Rep. Barbara Boyd, D-Anniston, has $873 and is so far unopposed.
Capitol & statewide correspondent Tim Lockette: 256-294-4193. On Twitter @TLockette_Star.