Campaign finance reports show neck and neck fundraising

Candidates in the remaining runoff elections in Terrebonne and Lafourche are neck and neck in terms of fundraising numbers and the people who have contributed to their campaigns.

Those on the ballot Nov. 16 were required to file another round of campaign finance reports with the state today, detailing their donations and expenses from Sept. 23 through Oct. 27.

Terrebonne sheriff candidates Blayne Bergeron and Tim Soignet nearly matched fundraising dollars, according to the latest report.

Soignet collected just over $24,000 in donations, followed closely by Bergeron at $22,000.

In Lafourche Parish, parish president candidates Archie Chaisson III and Luci Sposito raked in over $22,000 each, from many of the same donors. Chaisson collected $26,700.

Those overlapping donors included parish contractors such as Duplantis Design Group and Pelican Waste and Debris. The two candidates have reported a number of similar donors throughout the campaign cycle.

Since January, Chaisson has outraised his opponent by about $15,000, raking in just over $100,000 in donations without any personal loans.

Sposito reported about $85,000 in donations, in addition to $12,500 she personally loaned the campaign.

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The two have recently ramped up discussions on social media, directly addressing each other’s campaigns. In a series of Facebook posts Friday, Sposito shared information about Chaisson’s ethics violation, criticism from the Launch Leeville group and a statement he made about economic development.

In response, Chaisson issued a letter Friday denouncing Sposito’s statements as “negative campaigning.”

“It’s a shame that our race has taken this turn, and my opponent has chosen to begin a wave of negative campaign attacks against me,” Chaisson wrote in the letter. “The old ways of slander and negative tactics has run its course in Lafourche for far too long and needs to come to an end.”

Sposito has rebuffed the notion that she’s begun any negative campaign attacks, instead saying Chaisson has issued “negative and false statements” about her qualifications.

In her own letter posted on Facebook Monday, she said, “I ask voters to not be fooled by my opponent’s continued false claims against me. The proof of my campaign strategy was in your mailboxes. The proof was in your newspapers. The proof was in my radio ads. All positive. All about my qualifications and my plan to build, with your help, a prosperous Lafourche Parish.”

The two candidates are vying to take over the presidency in January when Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle leaves office after one term. He chose not to seek re-election.

Early voting continues through Saturday, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. All regular polling locations will be open on Election Day, Nov. 16, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Sample ballots and other election information can be found online at geauxvote.com. 

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