Incumbent Nancy Thellman leads fundraising effort among Douglas County Commission candidates

photo by: Chris Conde/Journal-World File Photo

The Douglas County Courthouse is pictured in September 2018.

An incumbent Douglas County commissioner who is running for reelection is leading the way in fundraising efforts, according to financial reports published by Douglas County this week.

Democratic candidate Nancy Thellman, who is running to earn a fourth term as the County Commission’s 2nd District representative, reported raising $17,380 for her campaign.

Thellman, 62, received donations from 49 contributors, including a $1,000 contribution from herself and her husband Scott Thellman. The rest of the contributions were from donors who provided between $75 and $500, including a $200 donation from Karen Willey, who is a Democratic candidate running for the County Commission’s 3rd District seat.

Thellman’s two Democratic challengers in the August primary each trailed Thellman in fundraising by several thousand dollars: Sara Taliaferro, 57, reported raising $9,019, and Shannon Reid, 35, reported raising $10,145.

Taliaferro received a total of 47 contributions, four of which came from herself and added up to $1,425, while Reid received a total of 200 contributions. Reid received multiple contributions from many donors, with contributions listed in amounts from as small as $1.66 to as large as $500.

The largest single donations Reid received came from attorneys Sarah Swain and Samuel Natale, both $500. Swain operates a law practice that formerly employed Reid’s “Justice Ticket” partner and Douglas County district attorney candidate Cooper Overstreet.

In the County Commission’s 3rd District race, Willey raised much more than her Democratic and Republican opponents. Willey, 44, reported raising $13,089 from 73 contributions. But Willey’s largest contribution came from herself: a $2,000 loan.

Democratic candidate Shannon Portillo, 35, reported raising $8,281 from about 160 total contributions. Like Reid, Portillo received donations ranging in size from $1.66 to $500, and many donors provided multiple contributions to the campaign. Portillo, who is also part of the “Justice Ticket” with Reid and Overstreet, also received a $500 contribution from Swain.

Republican Pam McDermott, 54, reported a much smaller amount — a total of $3,792 from 24 contributions. McDermott, who is a church leader for Morning Star Church, received several donations from local ministers, including former KU basketball player Wayne Simien, who donated $200. The largest donation she received was a $500 contribution from Lawrence minister Rich Lorenzo.

Republican candidate Ron Thacker, 52, did not file a financial report because he was exempt. In June, Thacker filed an exemption form stating that he anticipated to receive and spend less than $1,000 for the primary and general elections.

Here’s how much the candidates in a couple of other countywide races managed to raise:

Register of deeds

• Kent Brown, 34, raised $9,055 from 66 contributions.

• Kim Murphree, 61, raised $1,715 from 21 contributions.

Both Brown and Murphree are Democrats.

County treasurer

• Timothy Morland, 44, raised $1,565 from 23 contributions.

• Adam Rains, 32, raised $2,615 from 32 contributions.

Both Rains and Morland are Democrats.


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