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Fayette judge campaign cost $333,444

| Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Five candidates for Common Pleas judge in Fayette County have spent a combined $333,444 in the first four months of the campaign, according to their campaign finance reports.

Two positions on the bench are open because Ralph Warman and Gerald Solomon retired to become senior judges.

Four attorneys, all of whom are cross-filed, are seeking the Democratic and Republican nominations in the May 21 primary for the two open spots on the bench.

The reports, which cover the period between January and the first week of May, show Joseph George Jr. spent $114,339 on advertising and other expenses, followed by Douglas Sepic with $78,476, Linda Cordaro at $72,418, Jack Purcell with $60,608 and Steve Walton with $7,604.

The reports were due on Friday, with all but Sepic meeting the deadline. Sepic filed his report on Monday.

Sepic said he was in court all day Friday and when he had a chance late in the day to visit the Election Bureau to file his report, he realized too late that he did not have it with him.

All of the candidates have contributed heavily to their own campaigns, according to the reports, with Cordaro listing $86,700 in loans to her campaign committee, Friends of Linda Cordaro.

She is followed by George, whose report lists loans totaling $53,236 to his campaign committee, Friends of Judge George.

Purcell contributed $50,000 to his committee, Citizens to Elect Judge Jack Purcell, and Sepic loaned $19,814 to his committee, Friends of Douglas Sepic for Judge.

Walton, the only Republican candidate, is funding his own campaign, according to the reports.

His reports indicate he has used his own money to pay his expenses, which to date total $7,604.

His campaign committee, The Committee to Elect Steven Walton, received $300 in donations, according to the report, but that money has not yet been spent.

Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com.

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