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Originally published: 2014-05-05 14:36:11
Last modified: 2014-05-05 14:36:11

DA fundraising nears $200K

by Anna Oakes

Nearly $200,000 has been raised in the local race for district attorney, which will be unofficially decided by Tuesday's primary election.

Three Republicans -- Nathan Miller of Boone, Britt Springer of Boone and Seth Banks of Burnsville -- are seeking election to the office, and no candidates from other parties filed for the position. The 24th Prosecutorial District includes Avery, Madison, Mitchell, Watauga and Yancey counties.

Campaign finance reports for the first quarter "plus" were due to the State Board of Elections April 28.

Springer's campaign had raised $73,760 as of April 19, which includes a $40,000 loan. The campaign had $31,291on hand as of the reporting deadline. The campaign spent $14,661 on billboards and more than $10,000 on signs, in addition to other advertising expenses.

Miller has raised a total of $37,882 in his campaign, including a $9,000 loan, with $5,955  left on hand as of late last month. His campaign expenses also include signage and advertising.

The Banks campaign has raised $74,266, including a $30,000 loan, with $25,230 left on hand.

All three candidates have received campaign contributions from within the legal community. Springer's top contributors include Boone defense attorney Deborah Casey and attorney Jeff Hedrick.

Springer's first quarter report also included a refund of $200 to Alex and Brenda Lyerly, noting that the contribution was "mistakenly attributed to Alex Lyerly when Brenda Lyerly was the contributor."

Lyerly, who has endorsed Springer's campaign, retired from his post as chief district judge in March. He was initially said to be the appointee to serve as interim district attorney when Wilson suddenly retired March 31, but the governor's office later appointed former Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr instead. Orr has endorsed the Banks campaign.

Among Banks' donors are Burnsville attorney J. Todd Bailey, Asheville attorney W. Louis Bissette Jr., Mars Hill attorney Bruce Briggs, Weaverville attorney Chad Donnahoo, Asheville attorney Jeffery Owen, and Orr, whose $200 contribution on April 14 brought his total contributions to the campaign to $400.

Millers' contributors include attorney Linda Johnson, defense attorney Tom Speed, and attorneys Rebecca Eggers-Gryder, Stacy Eggers Jr. and Stacy Eggers IV, all of Boone.