Originally created 04/11/98

Election fund totals provided for candidates



COLUMBIA -- Republican Gov. David Beasley had $2.2 million in his campaign coffers as of March 31, and Democratic challenger Jim Hodges trailed in contributions with $1.2 million on hand, according to unaudited State Ethics Commission documents filed Friday.

Mr. Hodges, a former House minority leader from Lancaster, almost doubled his total since the last reporting period ended Dec. 31.

Mr. Beasley's campaign manager, Tony Denny, criticized the Democrat for accepting donations from video-gambling sources after Mr. Hodges said in 1997 he would consider returning some of the industry's money.

Mr. Beasley has said he would not accept any contributions from video-gambling machine owners or operators.

It was unclear Friday exactly how much Mr. Hodges' campaign has accepted from the industry, but a preliminary examination of the records showed at least $53,150 came from gambling interests.

Campaign manager Tim Shock said Mr. Hodges does not support video gambling, but he does favor a statewide referendum on the controversial games.

"He told the video-poker industry that if there was a referendum, he'd vote against it," Mr. Shock said. "All Jim's done is been honest with them."

Mr. Beasley, calling video gambling a cancer on the state, has pushed legislation to ban the industry outright. But the bills are hung up in the Senate, where a filibuster succeeded in killing a proposed ban.

Both men also have received sizable chunks of money from outside South Carolina: Mr. Beasley, $139,625, and Mr. Hodges, $111,700.

Mr. Beasley took in $404,275 between Jan. 1 and March 31, while Mr. Hodges reported $655,879 in donations during the first quarter.

Other statewide candidates reporting campaign cash on hand as of March 31 include:

-- For governor: James Metts, independent, $127,465;

-- For lieutenant governor: Bob Peeler, Republican, $323,829.

-- For education superintendent: David Eckstrom, Republican, $99,459; Gary Leonard, Republican, $45; Tom Parks, Democrat, $1,182; Rebekah Sutherland, Republican, $386; Inez Tenenbaum, Democrat, $215,202; Jim White, Republican, $53,250.

-- For attorney general: Charlie Condon, Republican, $272,553; Tom Turnipseed, Democrat, $46,974.

-- For treasurer: Grady Patterson, Democrat, $83,493.

-- For comptroller general: John Courson, Republican, $140,344; Jim Lander, Democrat, $0; Bill Mullen, Republican, $422.

-- For agriculture commissioner: Frank Barron, Republican, $956; Jim Gordon, Republican, $109,173; Les Tindal, Republican, $5,392.

-- For adjutant general: Robert Burton, Democrat, $120; John Green, Democrat, $0; Stan Spears, Republican, $17,460;

-- For secretary of state: Jim Miles, Republican, $1,288.