Supreme Court of Appeals Justice Brent Benjamin’s campaign committee announced that the campaign has met and exceeded all contribution requirements necessary to qualify for public campaign financing. Once certified by the State Election Commission (SEC), the campaign will receive nearly $500,000 in additional funds from the Public Campaign Finance Fund created by the West Virginia Legislature.
Don Nickerson, the campaign treasurer, is preparing the official filings which are due online by Monday evening. On Saturday Nickerson said “We’ve already received contributions from 564 West Virginia donors, totaling $40,170. Those numbers may increase as we review receipts of contributions made online later this evening.” The deadline for receiving qualifying contributions was midnight January 30.
“We’ve conducted much of our fundraising campaign online in order to reach voters throughout our state,” said Nickerson. “Approximately half of our contributions were made online. The average contribution from all sources was approximately $71 per donor. These contributions demonstrate the broad, bi-partisan, grass roots support Justice Benjamin has with registered voters throughout West Virginia.”
The legislative statute creating the Public Campaign Financing Fund requires that at least 500 contributions of $100 or less be gathered from West Virginia registered voters. At least $35,000 must be raised during the qualifying period, and at least 10% of contributors must reside within each congressional district in the state. Nickerson reported that 23% of the contributions came from the 1st congressional district, 47% from the 2nd district, and 30% from the 3rd district.
In enacting the Supreme Court of Appeals Public Campaign Financing Pilot Program, the legislature declared the act would “protect the Constitutional rights of voters and candidates from the detrimental effects of increasingly large amounts of money being raised to influence the outcome of elections, protect the impartiality and integrity of the judiciary, and strengthen public confidence in the judiciary.” Justice Benjamin declared his intent to participate in the fund in September of 2015.
Committee to Re-elect Justice Brent Benjamin Don Nickerson, treasurer, 484 Williamsport Pike #120, Martinsburg WV 25404, PO Box 6311, Wheeling WV 26003.. Paid for by the Committee to Re-elect Justice Brent Benjamin – Not printed at taxpayer expense