Lafayette DA Update – 10/8/14

Challenger’s fundraising exceeds incumbent’s in Lafayette DA race

Candidates ramp up efforts in final month
By Billy gunn

LAFAYETTE — Heading into the final month of the campaign for district attorney, challenger Keith Stutes is pulling in more cash from supporters than incumbent DA Mike Harson, campaign finance disclosures show.

Harson, who has served as the 15th Judicial District’s chief prosecutor since January 1993, received $72,460 from contributors in the period from July 28 to Sept. 25.

Stutes reeled in $114,293 from contributors during the two-month period. Stutes, who retired in early 2014 after years as first assistant district attorney, is giving Harson his first election competition in 20 years.

Monday was the deadline for filing campaign finance figures with state officials. The election is Nov. 4. Early voting runs Oct. 21 to Oct. 28. The 15th Judicial District covers Lafayette, Vermilion and Acadia parishes.

The reports show both men spent heavily in August and September on television ads.

Harson spent over $62,000 with KATC-TV, Lafayette’s ABC affiliate, during the two months. At KLFY, the CBS station in Lafayette, his campaign spent over $60,000, according to records with the state Board of Ethics, which has oversight of political contributions in Louisiana.

Harson, a Democrat, also paid Arsemont Media Group more than $47,000 in consulting fees and other goods during the period.

Stutes’ campaign paid Cox Media, a company owned by cable TV provider Cox Communications, more than $92,000 to buy air time on the local television stations.

Stutes, a Republican, paid political consultant Hilary Castille $18,500 during the two months.

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