Campaign expenditure reports show one of the nine republican candidates for Tulsa County Sheriff has spent more money on television and radio commercials than candidates who have filed so far raised combined.
The filing period for campaign contributions and expenditures began Tuesday and ends on Monday. So far, six candidates for sheriff — Vic Regalado, Luke Sherman, John Fitzpatrick, Dan Miller, Tom Helm, and Brandon Hendrix — have filed reports at the Tulsa County Election Board.
The amount of money raised so far by Regalado, $158,120, far outpaces the field. More than half of those contributions ($88,350) were spent on advertising with ROI Media Advertising in Tulsa.
Regalado is a sergeant with the Tulsa Police Department’s gang unit, and a former homicide investigator.
Of the other candidates who have filed so far, Luke Sherman has raised the second-most: $36,930. John Fitzpatrick is in third place with $29,520; followed by Dan Miller. $4,211.36; Tom Helm, $1,740; and Brandon Hendrix, $1,500.
Reports filed for Miller, Helm, Sherman, Hendrix, Fitzpatrick list contributions through Dec. 31, 2015. Regalado’s report lists contributions through Feb. 15. It’s unclear why the reports covered different time periods, thought it may be due to confusion over the Oklahoma Ethics Commission filing deadline.
Jason Jackson, Randy Pierce, and Bill Reaves have yet to file their contribution and expenditure reports, but have until the deadline Tuesday to do so. Pierce has previously said he will not accept campaign contributions.
Regalado’s report lists 15 pages of contributions, including notable names such as Reuben Davis, an attorney who has spent time as a Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office reserve deputy; Mike Huff, a retired Tulsa Police Department homicide investigator; Allen Smallwood, a local criminal defense attorney; Preston Doerflinger, the state of Oklahoma’s finance director; and Clark Brewster, a Tulsa attorney who has defended the sheriff’s office in numerous civil rights cases.
Brewster also represents former Reserve Deputy Robert Bates, whose shooting of an unarmed man last year led to a grand jury that brought down former Sheriff Stanley Glanz.
T. Hastings Siegfried, who serves as Nordam’s vice chairman and also as a reserve deputy, gave Regalado $2,300. Six members of the Siegfried family are listed among Regalado’s contributors, giving a combined total of $9,000.
Hastings Siegfried was referenced in the recently released grand jury transcripts. Former TCSO Maj. Shannon Clark told the grand jury that, while sheriff’s office administrators were taking squad cars away from some ranking members of the agency, an unused patrol car was parked outside of Siegfried’s home for months while he was out of the country on business.
John Echols, an Oklahoma State Representative, gave $1,500 each to Fitzpatrick and Sherman.
Miller reported only five contributions between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, a $1,000 donation from a teacher in Broken Arrow. Helm reported just two contributions more than $50 (candidates are required to itemize donations more than $50) between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31. He said he had received $240 from individual donations less than $50.
Hendrix reported only two contributions, one for $1,000 and one for $500, both from himself.
Regalado said he’s “not shy” about any of his donors, a group he called “more reflective of Tulsa County” than those of any other candidate.
Critics, which include some fellow candidates, have said they feared Regalado may be too closely aligned with people involved in TCSO’s recent troubles.
Fitzpatrick on Thursday compared the relationship between Regalado and Siegfried to the relationship of Glanz and Bates.
“In my eyes, there’s a lot of similarities there,” Fitzpatrick said.
Regalado said while there may be a perceived connection between himself and existing members of TCSO, he hasn’t promised anyone a job “either directly or indirectly.”
“I’ve told people all along that accountability and trust are two huge factors in this race,” he said. “I’ve even turned down some contributions because they’ve been offered with a ‘Hey, I think I would be great for this role when you’re sheriff,’ or ‘Hey, I have a friend who could do a real good job for you.’ I don’t need that.”
He said there’s no room for even the appearance of patronage. Glanz has been criticized for his public statements that he saves appraiser positions for his campaign contributors, a legal, if questionable, practice.
“Even if it’s legal, there’s just no room for that right now,” Regalado said. “There is nobody on my list (of contributors) that has been promised anything.”
Fitzpatrick, a business executive and reserve Tulsa police officer, and Sherman said they were each proud of their donors, who ranged from small donations to the $2,700 max allowed from an individual contributor.
“I’m proud of the people who have given me money, Fitzpatrick said. “I’ve gotten some maximum donations, and I’ve gotten some small ones, and they all mean something to me. A teacher gave me $20, but that still buys a few signs. It all adds up; it’s all meaningful.”
Sherman said some large contributions came from inroads in the business community through his security company, Aegis Executive Services, but said most donors were inspired by his passion.
“My energy is top shelf and I’m a connector,” said Sherman, a Tulsa Police Department fugitive warrants sergeant. “These people hear me speak and they hear my message and they want to put their money behind me.”
The winner of the March 1 primary election will go on to face Democrat Rex Berry on April 5 in the special general election. The winner will serve an abbreviated term, finishing out Glanz’s term.
An election for the next full four-year term as sheriff will be held in November.