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Sheriff candidates fire first volley of fundraising totals

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 by Caleb Pritchard

While the nation’s eyes seem to be turned toward next year’s presidential contest, here in Travis County, there’s another crowded field of candidates looking for your attention. Right now, there are four declared Democrats seeking their party’s nomination for sheriff: Lakeway Police Chief Todd Radford, Travis County Sgt. Don Rios, former Austin Police Lt. John Sisson and Travis County Chief Deputy Jim Sylvester. Last week, all four filed their first campaign finance disclosures, and there was one eye-popping standout: At $61,291, Rios’ fundraising haul was nearly six times larger than the second-highest take in this first stage of the horse race. Behind Rios was Radford, who collected $10,200. Sisson raked in $4,005 (but his war chest is larger thanks to the $35,000 he loaned his campaign), while Sylvester landed $1,540. Rios’ big number was boosted by a $45,000 gift from the Travis County Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Association PAC. Radford benefited from a $10,000 bump from the Travis County Sheriff’s Officer’s Association PAC. Naturally, all of these numbers should be taken with a large grain of salt given that the March primary is still many, many, many months away.

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