Hiett, Other Candidates Receive Last-Minute Cash

Saturday, November 4th 2006, 3:05 pm
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) Thousands of dollars are pouring into candidates' political campaigns in last-minute contributions prior to Tuesday's general election, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission.

Republican lieutenant governor contender Todd Hiett of Kellyville has raised almost $200,000 in last-minute campaign contributions, records show. His Democratic opponent, Jari Askins of Duncan, said it shows that “Hiett is worried that he is behind.”

Hiett, who has now raised close to $2 million, said he was not able to supplement his campaign with his own money, like his opponent. Askins, who put $880,000 of her own money into the race, has raised more than $1.5 million.

Hiett's last-minute contributions totaled $192,550, while Askins brought in $37,025. She said Friday that she doesn't expect to loan any more money to her race.

Last-minute contributions to candidates since October 24th totaled $1,271,778, according to Ethics Commission reports. Republicans, with $838,603, had raised nearly twice as much as Democrats, who tallied $433,175.

Last-minute reports also show that two Republicans seeking to unseat incumbent Democrats in statewide races have loaned themselves money to finish out their campaigns.

Republican candidate for auditor and inspector Gary Jones has loaned his campaign a total of $132,000, according to Ethics Commission reports.

Jones had raised $157,313 as of the last reporting period. He had $49,982 remaining to spend.

Last-minute filings show that since October 24th, Jones has raised $63,500, including a $60,000 loan he made to his campaign.

“We've made a long-term investment in going out there and campaigning, and we're getting tremendous, tremendous response,” he said. Jones is running against Democratic Auditor and Inspector Jeff McMahan.

Republican insurance commissioner candidate Bill Case loaned his campaign $30,000, according to last-minute filings.

Case had raised $135,244 as of the last reporting period. He had $20,901 left. Since October 24th, Case has raised $38,000.

Democratic incumbent Kim Holland had raised nearly $700,000 as of the last reporting period and $30,300 in last-minute contributions.

Holland has “saturated TV,” Case said, adding that “I've struggled and struggled to raise money; it's come down to the wire.”