Byrnes raises more money than opponents in York County commissioner race


Republican challenger Susan Byrnes raised the most cash of all six candidates for York County commissioner heading into the primary next week.

The committee to elect Byrnes, a health activist, raised $73,129 during the campaign finance reporting period ending May 4. That is $23,181 more than her closest opponent, according to the campaign finance reports filed with the county's Department of Elections and Voter Registration.

"I'm thrilled to have such a wide-based support," Byrnes said.

The committee to re-elect incumbent Republican Chris Reilly, who had $3,866 on hand going to into the primary season, raised $49,948 during the same time period, according to his committee's finance report.

For a county the size of York, the amount Byrnes' committee raised should be enough to last to the general election, said Chris Borick, director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion.

"A number like that seems pretty reasonable," he said.

No money raised: At the opposite end of the fiscal spectrum, incumbent Democrat Doug Hoke didn't raise any money during the reporting period but had $1,124 in the bank at the start of the campaign and spent $370.

Hoke's campaign also is padded by a $25,000 loan he gave the committee during his successful election bid in 2007, which he plans to use this election, he said.

Since the race has, so far, remained civil amongst the candidates, Hoke said he hasn't had to spend a lot of money, so he hasn't had to start raising money. Hoke said he also is running a campaign that lets his voting record and fiscal responsibility speak for itself.

But Hoke said he plans to raise funds for the general election, something he's not always comfortable doing.

"I think it's going to turn into a pretty competitive race," Hoke said. "I just didn't want to go out and ask people for money before the primary and then ask again for the fall election."

Money spent: Byrnes also led the pack in money spent, spending $25,637 in the first three months of the race, leaving $47,392 on hand.

Red Lion Councilman Kelly Henshaw rounded out the Republicans in the race for money raised, raising $18,610 during the reporting period, according to his finance report.

Henshaw, a challenger, had $364 on hand at the start of the reporting period. He spent $13,391, leaving $5,582, according to his report.

Democrats: Challenger Henry Nixon, a York City councilman, led the Democratic field in amount raised, with his committee accumulating $31,753. About half that was spent, leaving $14,772 in the bank, according to his report.

Fellow Democratic challenger Duane Hull, a former Dover Township supervisor, raised $4,305, of which $4,100 came from his own wallet. He spent $3,369, leaving $936 on hand, according to his report.

Of the nearly $50,000 Reilly raised, he spent $18,089, leaving $35,724 in the bank, his report says.

Reilly credited his "generous base of donors" with his ability to raise as much that he did.

"I've always been fortunate to raise money," he said. "Even though it's not the most pleasant of tasks."

The reports filed Friday were the last before the primary, which is May 19.

The top two voter-getters in each party will advance to the general election. Incumbent Steve Chronister said he will run in the November election as an Independent after he withdrew from the Republican ballot when he signature petition was challenged.