Vic Regalado, the Republican candidate for Tulsa County sheriff, returned two campaign contributions according to a filing late Monday with the Election Board.
Regalado came under fire when the first batch of contribution reports were released. He raised nearly $160,000 leading up to the March 1 primary election, in which he knocked off eight competitors to secure the Republican nomination, but much of that money was scrutinized.
Several of the donations came from Hispanic employees of ISTI, a Rogers County factory with seemingly no ties to the Tulsa County Sheriff race. Regalado has said the contributions came after he was introduced to and met with a key figure at ISTI, whom he did not name. He said he did not meet with the company’s employees or their spouses who donated to his campaign at or near the maximum allowed.
Other donations came from several people connected to former Sheriff Stanley Glanz’s tenure.
One contribution came from a man named Justin Gonzalez, a 25-year-old man who gave Regalado’s campaign $2,500. Gonzalez has felony drug and firearm convictions as well as a misdemeanor conviction of eluding police in Rogers County and was unable to pay court fines and costs in both Tulsa and Rogers counties in 2013, resulting in his tax return being intercepted, records show.
After informed by The Frontier of Gonzalez’s history, Regalado said he would return the man’s donation. The contribution form filed on Monday shows that donation was returned to Gonzalez on March 9. About three weeks prior to that donation being returned, the Regalado campaign returned a $1,200 donation to an Oklahoma City woman named Sherri Hader.
Aaron Brewer, Regalado’s campaign manager, said in an email that Hader had accidentally contributed more than the $2,700 maximum.
“We discovered in our review of records that Mrs. Hader had expenditures related to an event she held on our behalf, and that needed to be shown as a contribution, which put her over the maximum contribution. We therefore refunded the amount in order to comply with the rules,” Brewer said in the email.
Regalado reported receiving $13,631.25 in donations between Feb. 16 and March 21, continuing an unprecedented stretch of raising money for a short-term county sheriff election. He’s now raised more than $175,000 since his campaign kicked off last October, and has maintained his message of wanting to right the ship of a wayward sheriff’s office is the reason for his fundraising strength.
Through the same time period, Rex Berry, Regalado’s democratic opponent, reported raising $6,976.
Regalado’s strong fundraising efforts before the March 1 primary have left him with a war chest of more than $50,000, even with the returned donations.