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From T-shirts to campaign headquarters, Shelby County Schools board candidates spend to get ahead

With less than a month until the Aug. 7 election, Shelby County Schools board candidates have begun taking out loans, raising funds from family and friends and setting up their campaign headquarters.

Fourteen candidates are running for seven seats. Only candidates in districts 7 and 8 are running unopposed. With only three incumbents running, the election is set to dramatically change the face of the district’s 9-member board.

Candidates have raised and spent from zero to several thousand dollars between April 1 and June 30, according to the financial disclosure statements that they submitted to the Shelby County Election Commission this week.

Damon Morris, a candidate for district 9, raised $2,000 through a personal loan.

Anthony Lockhart, a candidate in district 2, listed a series of small donations between $10 and $100, with a personal donation to his own campaign of $270.

Morris and Lockhart spent most of their money on signs and flyers, although Morris also spent $450 to set up his campaign headquarters.Mike Kernell, a candidate for district 9, raised and spent over $2,000, the most of any candidate during the period, but his itemized list of donations and expenditures was missing from the election commission website.Scott McCormick, a candidate for district 5, was the only candidate who did not raise or spend any money during the period.Stephanie Love, a candidate in district 3, raised $689 and spent $200.As of July 11 only five of the 14 candidates’ financial disclosure documents were posted on the Shelby County Election Commission’s website.Candidates are required to file a financial disclosure statement by July 10, ten days after the end of the quarter. The election commission says that it posts all the documents it receives within one business day.Candidates who did not submit their financial disclosure documents will receive a certified letter informing them of their delinquency and giving them an additional five days to submit. If candidates still don’t submit their paperwork, their names will be sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance for possible disciplinary action.

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