Running for district attorney is not cheap.
The Centre County district attorney’s race has been heated in recent months. Reports show it is not just run on pocket change.
The Centre Daily Times obtained campaign finance reports for District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller and challenger Bernie Cantorna, as well as their authorized committees, Citizens to Elect Stacy Parks Miller and Bernie for DA. The reports were obtained through a Pennsylvania Right to Know Law request.
According to the documents, Parks Miller had a negative ending cash balance of $50,450. Most of that comes from $50,400 in loans to her campaign for her first bid in 2009. There was also a $50 loan in February 2017.
Her statement of expenses shows that she personally laid out $11,470.61 since April 8, as she pursues a third term. She announced her bid on April 11.
She spent $1,800 paying campaign manager Bailey Jack, a Penn State junior in economics, on April 15. There was $3,796 for polling and another $3,634.28 for printing and mailing on April 24, and $1,900 for commercial broadcasting on May 1. There were also three separate ad purchases for Facebook between April 8 and April 30 for a total of $240.33, and $100 for tickets to the Centre County Democratic Committee breakfast.
The report details no contributions from other persons or groups.
“I primarily funded my own campaign because being DA does not end at 5 (p.m.) or on Friday, especially in the last few months, and there just was no time for fundraising.,” Parks Miller said. “Keeping this job I love is worth the investment. I am also convinced that it is best to not ask local attorneys for money if you are going to remain and appear independent in your decision making in cases you have against them.”
The challenger in the race that pits just two Democrats against each other in the primary with no Republican on deck is attorney Cantorna, whose documents show a $5,000 starting loan for the campaign and another $734.80 in expenditures as of May 1.
The expenditures went for filing fees and catering.
The Bernie for DA documents show the loan broken down into a $100 block on Nov. 13 and $4,900 on Nov.18, both close to the time he made his announcement.
“It’s quite typical for the candidate to put in the seed money themselves,” said Cantorna’s campaign manager, Dianne Gregg.
Gregg has not been paid for work to date, receiving only $150.50 for stamps and copying on Dec. 14. Other Bernie for DA expenses have included $125 for mailing and $404.92 for printing and design work. The largest expense is $1,272 to EightOneFour LLC for a website, print media and social media setup. That is listed as an unpaid debt in the document but Gregg said it has since been paid and the campaign has no outstanding bills.
She also noted that since the RTK request was made by the CDT, two additional contributions in excess of $500 have been made to the campaign and disclosures filed. That is in addition to $300 in contributions already disclosed in the documents.
“What we put our money into was reaching out to the voters to give them Bernie’s message,” she said.