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UPDATE: 3 House candidates miss key reporting deadline

By Dale Denwalt, Enid News & Eagle, Okla.
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

June 18--ENID, Okla. -- Three area state House candidates have have missed a key reporting deadline.

Campaigns had until Monday to file their most recent donor and spending reports, according to Ok­lahoma Ethics Commis­sion's calendar.

The legislative candidates whose reports were not available on the commission's website Tuesday were Mike Stuber, who is running for Enid'sHouse District 40, and House District 38 candidates Roy Chaney and Jason Warren.

Stuber's treasurer said the report was filed over the weekend, but the Commission said Wednesday that they had not received the report.

Stuber's campaign already missed one deadline in the spring. The first of the campaign's financial filings was submitted five days after its April 30 deadline. At the time, Stuber told the News & Eagle it was an error in communication and an oversight.

When reached Tuesday, Warren said he didn't know his newest report wasn't online.

"I'll get it all knocked out tonight. I didn't even realize," he said.

Chaney said his treasurer wasn't clear on the rules and missed a switchover from quarterly reporting to a schedule based on election dates. His report would be filed Wednesday, he said.

In a manual for state office seekers, the ethics commission warns candidates that not filing on time is a violation of its rules. Missing reports can lead to fines or prosecution in district court.

"Failure to file any report is very serious," the manual states.

Candidates have to file a report even if they didn't raise or spend any money during the time period.

In HD 38, candidate Ralph Meade's report was mailed to the Commission, so it will not be available online. The Nardin resident is one of six Republicans running for the seat.

Of the area candidates whose reports were available Tuesday, Enid physician Ross Vanhooser proved most adept at fundraising. Between April 1 and June 9, Vanhooser collected $43,783 and kept a little more than half of that to spend in the final two weeks before the June 24 primary.

His major supporters include fellow doctors, local energy producers Lew Ward and Curtis Gilbertson, and business owners John Groendyke, Rob Cummins and Bob Berry.

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Vanhooser could use the money, too. He faces an incumbent in state Rep. John Enns, of Enid, who has won four terms to the district. The winner of this election will serve in the Legislature next year because no Democrat filed for office.

Enns raised $7,175 from individuals and political action committees during the same time period, but he started the election cycle with a war chest nearly equal to Vanhooser's total haul. Enns held back on spending, though, and finished the reporting period with more than $31,000 in the bank.

Stuber's primary op­ponent in House District 40 is Chad Caldwell, who told Okla­homa Ethics Commission he raised $28,514. Most of that money came from donors giving $500 or less.

Caldwell's large donors include pharmacist Kyle Whitehead, insurance agent Doug Frantz and Leota Frantz, who each gave more than $1,000 in the opening days of his campaign. Doug Frantz is Caldwell's father-in-law.

He also has significant monetary support from well-known Enid residents Paul Allen, Leonard Northcutt, Stephen Jones and Lew Meibergen, according to the filing.

Enid Democrat Pierce Jones reported no contributions and finished the period with a deficit of $200.

Although his own report wasn't available Tuesday, another filing showed Stuber received $1,500 from the Chesapeake Oklahoma PAC on June 4. The energy company's political action committee also donated to Enns and House District 38 candidate John Pfeiffer, of Mulhall.

In all, Pfeiffer has accepted $4,000 from four PACs. The other groups appear linked to agriculture, beef and business interests. He also has donated $5,000 to his campaign and raised another $13,000, but had spent nearly all of it by June 10.

By the time he filed for the office, fellow District 38 Republican and Newkirk Mayor Roy Chaney had amassed more than $23,000 in donations. Harold LeValley, of Braman, spent most of his $12,568 through last week, but gave his campaign a late shot of $6,000 of his own money. District 38's only Enid competitor, Nikole Schrader, raised and spent all of her $3,675 during the reporting period.

The next election cycle reporting deadline is Aug. 18. The final deadlines are Oct. 27 and Jan. 31, although the ethics commission requires some last-minute donations to be reported immediately during the days before an election date.

For Clients with Prostate Cancer

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(c)2014 the Enid News & Eagle (Enid, Okla.)

Visit the Enid News & Eagle (Enid, Okla.) at www.enidnews.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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