Sheriff candidates take in and spend most

According to campaign financing reports filed through July 15 with the county registrar’s office, the candidates for sheriff in Rappahannock County, incumbent Connie C. Smith and challenger Anthony “Andy” Berry, have both raised and spent more than any of the 18 other men and women running for local office on Nov. 3.

Since Jan. 1, Smith has raised $15,000 — from just two donors, both apparently owners of gun-related businesses. In June, Smith reported a $10,000 contribution from Joseph Roebuck of Daytona Beach, Florida. Roebuck is founder of SCCY Industries, a Florida company that manufactures 9mm handguns. In May, Smith reported a contribution of $5,000 from Kevin Rychlik of Nokesville, who owns the Gun Shop, a retail outlet on Lee Highway in Warrenton.

Berry, who ran against Smith unsuccessfully in 2011, has been both accepting and spending campaign funds since last July. Since then, he reported taking in a total of $7,360 — most of which came from the candidate himself, as loans totalling about $4,000 to the campaign. The remainder of Berry’s contributions have come from about a dozen individual donors, the largest of which were James W. “Bill” Fletcher ($1,500) this June, and Settle’s Cars & Trucks of Flint Hill ($500) earlier in the year (plus a $900 in-kind contribution of printing costs by the Police and Sheriff’s Press of Lyon, Georgia, last November).

Berry has spent $6,996, including $2,420 last year, on fundraisers and assorted campaign-related products and services. Smith reported spending $4,299 since June 1 of this year.

Most of the other candidates for local office in Rappahannock have filed exemptions — a state election form on which the candidate attests that he or she will not spend more than $1,000 and is not accepting contributions from others to defray campaign costs.

None of those who have not filed such exemptions, and have thus begun filing financial reports — including unopposed commonwealth’s attorney incumbent Art Goff, circuit court clerk incumbent Peggy Ralph, revenue commissioner candidates Marlina Lee and Sharon Dodson and Hampton supervisor candidate Keir Whitson — have reported spending more than $2,000 or receiving more than $500 as of July 15.

Roger Piantadosi
About Roger Piantadosi 544 Articles
Former Rappahannock News editor Roger Piantadosi is a writer and works on web and video projects for Rappahannock Media and his own Synergist Media company. Before joining the News in 2009, he was a staff writer, editor and web developer at The Washington Post for almost 30 years.