McPherson leads Pinac, Holloway in PSC campaign funding

State Sen. Joe McPherson, D-Woodworth, holds the upper hand in campaign funds as absentee voting opens Saturday for the April 4 primary to fill the District 4 seat on the Public Service Commission.

The seat became available when Dale Sittig of Eunice resigned to take the executive director’s post of the Louisiana Offshore Port.

Pat Manuel of Eunice was appointed on an interim basis until a successor for the unexpired term could be elected.

McPherson, former legislator Gil Pinanc, R-Crowley and former Congressman Clyde Holloway, R-Forest Hill, are the candidates.

According to reports filed with the Secretary of State, McPherson had three times more available for campaign spending than the total of his opponents in the first required reporting period.

McPherson reported total contributions of $492,375, compared to total contributions to Holloway of $26,900 and to Pinac of $62,090.

Some of McPherson’’s funds were raised in previous reporting periods, part of the on-going fund-raising that legislators do. The total includes $200,000 that McPherson loaned his campaign on Dec. 29, 2008.

The senator, serving his constitutionally limited final term in the Senate, spent $73,905 during the reporting period, leaving his fund at $375,817 as of Feb. 23.

Major contributors listed included Buddy Leach of Lake Charles, $5,000; Pan American Engineers, Alexandria-Pineville, $5,000; Louisiana Guest House, Alexandria, $3,000; H.K. Stanley, Alexandria, $2,500; Randy Gilchrist, Alexandria, $2,500; and Ralph Gill, Alexandria, $2,000.

Pinac’s reported contributions include $17,940 transferred from previous campaigns.

The Crowley candidate reported expenses of $25,592 in the reporting period, leaving him $36,498 six weeks before the primary.

Major contributions reported by Pinac included Bollinger Shipyard, Bollinger Calcasieu, AT&T Services, New Orleans, and NORPAC, Metairie, $5,000 each.

Holloway’s account included $25,000 he loaned the campaign. The major contributor otherwise was Manning J. Broussard of Abbeville, $1,000.

At the reporting date, Holloway had $7,562 on hand.

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