Sure, the big money in this year's Wisconsin elections is being spent at the state level -- gubernatorial candidates Jim Doyle and Mark Green have raised roughly $17 million so far, on track to beat the $18 million raised in the 2000 race. But Dane County's battle for sheriff is no small shakes either.
Campaign finance reports filed on Monday reveal that Democrat Dave Mahoney has raised more than $89,000 and spent $70,400 through Oct. 23. His Republican opponent, Mike Hanson, has raised nearly $62,000 and spent more than $49,000.
The vast majority of donations to the two candidates came from individuals, although Hanson did receive $2,500 from the Realtors PAC and Mahoney got $750 from American Family's political conduit.
A review of Mahoney's campaign finance report shows that about 19% of his money was from law enforcement, including his fellow Dane County Sheriff's deputies. Several political action committees also contributed, including the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, which Mahoney used to head. Overall, Mahoney got more than $16,000 from law enforcement. Mahoney's top law-enforcement contributors include Dane County Sheriff's Deputy Robert Richardson, $1,390, Lt. Gerald Hundt, $1,300, and Deputy Steve Houghton, $815. Other large donors: Robert Oyler, owner of Capitol City Harley, $3,000, William Kaminski, owner of Cost Cutters, $1,000 and consultant Morris Andrews, $925 in cash and in-kind donations.
Top contributors to Hanson, a Madison police officer and a Dane County supervisor, include Realtors and business owners. Madison developer Terrence Wall gave Hanson $1,500, while former MG&E Chairman David Mebane donated $1,300 and Republican Party activist Mary Mohs chipped in $1,220.