Daniel has money lead in House 18; Hall gets Haslam family donations

From a Georgiana Vines report on financial disclosure in the House District 18 Republican primary, where Rep. Martin Daniel is challenged by former Rep. Steve Hall and two other candidates.

Daniel, who continues to self-finance his campaign as he did almost entirely in 2014, reported raising $75,285 in receipts in the second quarter report filed with the state, which included $35,000 in loans. Contributors included former Knoxville mayor and U.S. ambassador Victor Ashe, who gave $500 in the report for an aggregate of $1,250 in the primary. A $1,500 contributor was Randall Boyd, state economic and community development commissioner. Boyd also contributed $1,500 for the general election.

Hall, who held the post two terms after being term-limited on the Knoxville City Council, reported raising $11,445 in June, with almost all of his donations coming from members of businessman Jim Haslam’s family and two University of Tennessee trustees, Sharon Pryce and Raja Jubran.

Daniel had a record of criticizing UT the past two years, particularly its Office for Diversity and Inclusion, which eventually was defunded by the Legislature. He also introduced legislation on free speech on campus, which was removed from consideration after he said ISIS should be allowed to recruit if members didn’t disrupt proceedings. He later backtracked on his comments. Daniel also drew criticism on another topic, tweeting about Muhammad Ali on the day of his death by using the boxing champ’s birth name, Cassius Clay. Daniel shut down his Twitter account because of threats to him and his family over the tweets, he said later.

Some other major contributors to Daniel’s re-election campaign were state House Speaker Beth Harwell’s political action committee, $1,500; fellow outdoor advertising business owner Gary Douglas, $1,350; Steve Kirkham, Rocky Top Markets president, $1,000; House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada of Thompson Station, $1,000; and several other PACs, including the National Federal of Independent Business/TN Safe Trust, $1,000. Daniel recently received the group’s Guardian of Small Business Award.

With the $35,000 in loans during the second quarter, Daniel now has $184,600 in outstanding loans that he has reported.