La. Secretary Of State Candidates Loan Campaigns Hefty Sums


BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Three candidates vying to be Louisiana's next secretary of state have poured thousands of their own dollars into the effort.

Rep. Julie Stokes, a Kenner Republican, has the most cash on hand in the latest round of campaign finance reports filed with the state ethics administration office, reporting $441,000 in the bank. But that's because she loaned the effort $250,000.

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Turkey Creek Mayor Heather Cloud, a Republican, reported $102,000 in the bank — with the inclusion of a $101,000 personal loan. Former Sen. A.G. Crowe, a Pearl River Republican, has $51,000 cash on hand after loaning his campaign $90,000.

The reports covered fundraising through July 29.

Rep. Rick Edmonds, a Baton Rouge Republican, raised the most from donors in the latest report, with $103,000 collected. He reported $65,000 remaining in his campaign account.

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Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, the Baton Rouge Republican who took over the job after Tom Schedler resigned, drew the second-largest haul, raising $88,000 from donors. And he raised the money in about nine days, after announcing his campaign on the last day of the election registration period. He reported the same amount in the bank.

Democrat Renee Fontenot Free of Baton Rouge, who worked as top assistant to two prior secretaries of state, reported raising more than $17,000, loaning her campaign $1,000 and having $12,000 in the bank.

The election is Nov. 6, with a runoff as needed set for Dec. 8. Nine candidates are on the ballot, though not all have done fundraising for the race. The special election was scheduled after Schedler, a Republican, resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.

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