The six candidates seeking two judicial vacancies on the Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas combined to spend more than a half-million dollars during this spring’s campaign season, most of which came from their own family accounts.
According to campaign finance reports filed in Harrisburg, three Democratic candidates, attorneys Michael Stewart II, Jessica Rafferty and Matthew Schimizzi outspent their Republican opponents, public defender Wayne McGrew, state Rep. Justin Walsh and private attorney Kyle Baxter.
Rafferty topped all candidates with more than $201,00 in expenses that were listed through May 6. So far, her campaign has been funded through two $100,000 loans from her father.
Stewart’s campaign lists $175,000 from loans he and other family members provided. His campaign spent more than $152,000 through last week.
Schimizzi ’s campaign spent $118,000 and reported donations from himself and family members, totaling more than $85,000.
Baxter received a handful of donations that included contributions of nearly $65,000 from herself and other relatives. Her campaign spent nearly $52,000 to date.
Walsh, who was elected last year to his second term as a state representative, transferred $37,000 from his legislative campaign fund for his run for judge. He listed a total of $59,700 in revenues for the judicial campaign and spent more than $41,000 during the filing period.
McGrew reported spending about $5,000. He loaned his campaign $10,000, which accounted for most of the money available to spend on the race.
All six judicial candidates are running in both the Democratic and Republican primaries.