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Madison County sheriff candidates break down spending during campaign

By Dan Lampariello
By dlampariello@wbbjtv.com

MADISON COUNTY, Tenn -- John Mehr and Rick Staples have raised a lot of money so far in their campaigns for sheriff.

Staples has raised more than $99,261 as of July 10, and Mehr reports donations of $196,451.

In comparison, Staples has spent $52,320 in campaign funds and Mehr $107,688 as of July 10.

Advertising is what has costing each candidate the most. John Mehr spent $53,695 so far on advertising. While Rick Staples spent $10,770.

Mehr said the cost has been surprising.

"I didn't know the media, the cost of television and ads was this expensive," Mehr said.

The next biggest expense for each is printing, which includes items like signs and mailings. Staples spends a little more than $13,460 and Mehr spends $39,886.

The third biggest expense is consulting. Staples has spent the most so far -- $11,646 -- while Mehr was close behind with $10,770.

Staples said although he has not spent as much as his opponent, he is making an impact.

"In this case we spent it wisely," Staples said. "We get our message out there."

According to Mehr, getting his name out to the public is worth the cost.

"Advertisement and media, it just costs more than anything else," Mehr said.

Staples said, now that the campaign is winding down expect to see their bank balances drop.

"This is the point in the election where you'll see a whole lot of expenses," Staples said. "The commercials are expensive and the mail outs with the postage."

According to election staff, candidates are not required to provide an itemized list of expenditures under $100.
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