More than half of the funding for the campaign of Oconee County Sheriff candidate Kevin “Chappy” Hynes has come from non-local sources, according to early campaign finance filings, while incumbent Sheriff Scott Berry has raised almost all of his campaign funds from local sources.As of March 31, Hynes had raised $52,600 and lent himself another $5,000 for the campaign, while Berry had raised $11,100. The final figures for fundraising for the election on Tuesday won’t be known until June 30, when Hynes and Berry as well as other candidates, must fill their campaign finance reports for the first half of the year. The amount of and source of funding for the Sheriff’s race has become a campaign issue, however, and the amount of money raised in the race dwarfs that raised in other Oconee County races. Two of the four candidates for the Oconee County Board of Commissioners, by comparison, had raised $2,818 between them by March 31, and two others filed affidavits saying they did not intend to raise or spend more than $2,500 each. Early voting ended on Friday, with 2,246 persons already having cast their ballots, or 347 fewer than had voted early for the March 1 presidential primary. Turnout had been running ahead of the March primary until the last week of early voting. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday. All of the local contests are on the Republican ballot. First Campaign Forum At the candidate forum on April 14, Robert Wyatt, 1090 Apalachee Trace, outside Bishop, asked the two candidates for Sheriff who their major supporters were, why the donors were supporting the candidates, and what the donors expected to gain from their contributions..
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