Campaign cash comparison for general election - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Campaign cash comparison for general election

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Major unions are supporting Harris, and Ford has an attendance problem, but she also has the name of her political dynasty family. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) Major unions are supporting Harris, and Ford has an attendance problem, but she also has the name of her political dynasty family. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
Incumbent Amy Weirich has nearly $270,000 in her coffers, and Brown keeps bad-mouthing her. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) Incumbent Amy Weirich has nearly $270,000 in her coffers, and Brown keeps bad-mouthing her. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
In the Shelby County District Attorney's race, former TV Judge Joe Brown has national recognition, but less than $800 in his campaign account. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) In the Shelby County District Attorney's race, former TV Judge Joe Brown has national recognition, but less than $800 in his campaign account. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC) - Campaign cash versus popularity: the WMC Action News 5 Investigators took a look at bank accounts in Tennessee's most hotly contested general election races.

We found it's about name recognition, reputation, public exposure, and money. Republicans are swimming in cash. Memphis Flyer political reporter Jackson Baker calls money the "mother's milk" of politics.

In the Shelby County District Attorney's race, former TV Judge Joe Brown has national recognition, but less than $800 in his campaign account. Incumbent Amy Weirich has nearly $270,000 in her coffers, and Brown keeps bad-mouthing her.

"He has the possibility of imploding, which we always knew he had. She is pretty well situated," said Baker.

Shelby County Commissioner Henri Brooks has three times less money than her opponent for Juvenile Court clerk. She's faced a media firestorm since she questioned minority involvement in county contracts. Her opponent is quietly campaigning.

"Henri Brooks has driven so much negative, Joy Touliatos' prospects have been enhanced," said Baker.

For Shelby County mayor, the financial divide is wide.

Incumbent Mark Luttrell has eight times the cash of former County Commissioner Deidre Malone, who has loaned herself $10,000. While the county has more Democrats and incumbent Luttrell is Republican, Baker says Luttrell has more media exposure and more money.

"Even though she's running a pretty good campaign, she's a good candidate, she's going to have a hard time," said Baker.

Tennessee District 29 Senate incumbent Ophelia Ford has less money than her opponent, Memphis Councilman Lee Harris.

Major unions are supporting Harris, and Ford has an attendance problem, but she also has the name of her political dynasty family.

"Most people consider he has the advantage, but you never discount anyone named Ford," said Baker.

Baker says Juvenile Court judge race is a tough call.

Magistrate Dan Michael has six times the money as City Court Judge Tarik Sugarmon, but Sugarmon has a good reputation and prominent family name.

Incumbent Congressman Steve Cohen: Nearly $1 million. Opponent Attorney Ricky Wilkins: upwards of $100,000, half loaned to himself.

Baker says Wilkins should do better than past opponents.

The election is August 7, and early voting starts July 18.

For a side-by-side comparison, see below:

District Attorney

Source: TN Registry of Election Finance

Joe Brown

Available money: $744.94

Loaned to self: $2,500.00

Amy Weirich

Available money: $269,226.73

Loaned to self: $381.36

Shelby County Mayor

Source: Shelby County Election Commission

Mark Luttrell

Available money: $327,017.57

Loaned to self: $0

Deidre Malone

Available money: $38,914.53

Loaned to self: $10,000

Juvenile Court Judge

Source: Shelby County Election Commission

Dan Michael

Available money: $26,226.48

Loaned to self: $1,200

Tarik Sugarmon

Available money: $4,384

Loaned to self: $0

Juvenile Court Clerk Cash

Source: Shelby County Election Commission

Henri Brooks

Available money: $4,806.10

Loaned to self: $0

Joy Touliatos

Available money: $15,265.93

Loaned to self: $8,310.58

TN Senate District 29

Source: TN Registry of Election Finance

Ophelia Ford

Available money: $11,549.66

Loaned to self: $4,471.46

Lee Harris

Available money: $28,646.29

Loaned to self: $0

U.S. Congressional District 9

Source: Federal Election Commission

Steve Cohen

Available money: $943,149

Loaned to self: $0

Ricky Wilkins

Available money: $112,286

Loaned to self: $50,000

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