Campaign signs for Center Grove school board candidates along W. Stones Crossing Road Tuesday in White River Township.

Noah Crenshaw | Daily Journal

Several local races are contested in this year’s general election, and candidates are hoping to shore up support in the final days before Nov. 8.

Residents will be choosing everything from one of Indiana’s U.S. Senators to the Indiana secretary of state to representatives for school boards in Center Grove, Clark-Pleasant, Franklin and Greenwood.

Other local contested races are boards for Clark, Franklin Union Needham, Pleasant and White River townships and White River Township Trustee. Local state races that are contested are Indiana House District 60 and Indiana Senate District 41.

Campaign finance reports show political action committees, parties and individual donors are doling out cash by the hundreds and thousands to give their chosen candidates boosts to try to win your votes. In past elections, campaign spending has been looked at as a measure of the amount of support for a particular candidate.

Here’s a look at contested Statehouse, school board and township races where a significant amount of funds were raised and/or spent.

Indiana House District 60

Incumbent State Rep. Peggy Mayfield, a Republican, is facing a challenge from Democrat Kathy Thorpe for House District 60. The district was recently redrawn following the 2020 census, and now covers the majority of Morgan County along with portions of northeastern Monroe and northwestern Johnson counties.

Mayfield has raised $57,393.94 from April 9 to Oct. 14, adding to the $125,432.01 in cash her campaign had on hand on April 9. During the same time frame, her campaign has had $75,407.71 in expenses, according to filings.

The largest contribution category for Mayfield’s campaign has been from organizations listed as “other,” excluding corporations and PACs. Nearly $33,000 has been given by these organizations, with the Indiana House Republican Campaign Committee giving $15,355.45, filings show.

PACs were the second largest contribution category, with Mayfield receiving $15,200 from committees including Hoosiers for Great Public Schools, Build Indiana and United Health Group. She also received $9,026.50 in direct and in-kind individual contributions and another $250 from corporations, filings show.

In terms of expenses, Mayfield’s campaign has spent $57,967.82 on operation expenses. Another $12,873 has been spent on advertising, according to filings.

On the other hand, Thorpe has raised $1,581.89 since her campaign began, adding to the $50 in funding she already had on hand. She has spent $258 on campaign expenses, filings show.

Almost all of her contributions have been from individuals so far. One PAC, the Morgan County Central Democratic Committee, donated $300 to her campaign, filings show.

Thorpe has spent $150 on operations, and another $88 on advertising, according to filings.

Indiana Senate District 41

Republican incumbent Sen. Greg Walker is being challenged by Democrat Bryan Muñoz for a seat he’s held since 2016. District 41 represents most of Johnson County and all of Bartholomew County.

From April 9 to Oct. 14, Walker raised $13,950, adding to the $19,075.78 of cash his campaign already had on hand on April 9. During the same time frame, he has spent $7,890.69, filings show.

PACs have been major contributors to his campaign, giving $9,850. The largest PAC contribution he received was $2,500 from the Indiana Realtors PAC, filings show.

Walker has also received $1,500 from individuals, $1,300 from corporations and $1,300 from other organizations.

Most of Walker’s funds have been given to other organizations and candidates. More than $5,550 has been given, with both the Johnson County and Bartholomew County Republican parties getting a $2,000 contribution, filings show.

Muñoz, Walker’s opponent, had $1,184.02 on hand on April 9 and has raised $9,953.02 since then. During the same time frame, he’s also had $10,405.43 in expenses, according to filings.

Nearly $7,500 has been contributed to Muñoz’s campaign from Democratic organizations. ActBlue has donated $5,009.81, while the Bartholomew County Democratic Party has given $2,488.21, filings show.

He also received a $1,000 donation from Indiana Political Action Committee for Education, or I-PACE, the political action arm of the Indiana State Teachers Association, or ISTA, and another $1,000 donation from an individual, filings show.

The bulk of Muñoz’s expenses has funded advertising, more than $4,771.46, according to filings.

School board races

Of the 29 candidates running for school board in Johnson County, six filed campaign finance reports. Those candidates are Doug Bohall, Bruce Guiliani, Bill Collins, Gary Robinson, Linda Polesel and Chad Shaffer.

Candidates who raised or spent less than $500 on their campaigns are not required to file finance reports with the county clerk’s office, according to guidelines from the Indiana School Boards Association.

Bohall, Robinson, Guiliani and Collins are running for spots on the Center Grove Community School Corp. Board of Trustees, Polesel is running for a Clark-Pleasant Community School Corp. seat and Shaffer is running for a school board spot at Greenwood Community School Corp.

Of the candidates who filed reports, Robinson spent the most, investing $3,500 in campaign signs. He also listed $3,500 in contributions but did not itemize them, according to filings.

Collins received $1,000 from six individuals, including $300 from himself, with an additional $150 from APEX Telecom. Of the $1,150 raised, he spent all but less than $2, including $100 on t-shirts and about $1,048 on campaign signs, filings show.

Bohall received $700 in campaign contributions from four individuals, including $500 from Terry Lancer, a project architect with Indianapolis-based Lancer + Beebe. Bohall also spent $610 of those contributions on yard signs, filings show.

Guiliani did not list any contributions but spent $387 on printed signs, filings show.

Polesel received $1,169 in contributions, including $669 from herself and $500 from Franklin-based Patriot Products, LLC, all of which she spent on her campaign. About $159 of that went to clothing advertising her campaign, while the rest she spent on signs and fliers, according to filings.

Shaffer received $1,908, with $560 coming from two individuals and the rest self-funded. The largest items in campaign spending, which matched the amount he raised, included $1,348 in commercial printing and $425 for t-shirts, with the rest spent on website registration, an event at the Greenwood Parks and Recreation Activity Center and purchases at Menards, filings show.

Township races

In the White River Township Trustee race, Republican incumbent Mark Messick is facing a challenge from Democrat Suzanne Fortenberry.

Messick has neither raised nor spent any funds from April 9 to Oct. 14. Earlier this year, he did give $100 of his own money for his campaign, which was later directly given to the Johnson County GOP, according to filings.

On the other hand, Fortenberry has raised $3,761.24 since April and spent nearly $3,250, filings show.

Fortenberry’s largest category of contributions has been from individual donors, with a total of $2,600 being given. The next largest category was political action committees, or PACs. ActBlue, which is affiliated with the Democratic National Committee, has donated $841.24 to her campaign, filings show.

Fortenberry’s largest expense was $1,998.76, which was used for a printing campaign, according to filings.

For township board races, many of the candidates filed exemption forms, as they raised or spent less than $500 on their campaigns. Of the candidates that did report spending money on their campaigns, all five spent less than $150.

Daily Journal reporter Andy Bell-Baltaci contributed to this report.


Here is a look at how much was raised and spent in local races:

Center Grove Community School Board

Douglas Bohall: Raised $700; spent $644

William Collins: Raised $1,150; spent $1,148.34

Bruce Guiliani: Raised $0; spent $387.34

Gary Robinson: Beginning cash balance: $3,500; raised $0; spent $3,500

Clark-Pleasant School Board – Clark Township

Linda Polesel: Raised $1,168.70; spent $1,168.70

Greenwood Community School Board

Chad Shaffer: Raised $0; spent $1,158.32

State Representative – District 60

Peggy Mayfield, Republican: Beginning cash balance: $125,432.01; raised $57,393.94; spent $75,407.71

Kathy Thorpe, Democrat: Beginning cash balance: $50; raised $1,581.89; spent $258

State Senate – District 41

Bryan Muñoz, Democrat: Beginning cash balance: $1,184.02; raised $9,953.02; spent $10,405.43

Greg Walker, Republican: Beginning cash balance: $19,075.78; raised $13,950; spent $7,890.69

White River Township Trustee

Suzanne Fortenberry, Democrat: Beginning cash balance: $0; raised $3,761.24; spent $3,246.38

Mark Messick, Republican: Raised $0; spent $0

Source: Campaign Finance Reports