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Judicial election spending nearly hits $30 million

By Chris Dickerson | Dec 19, 2012

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) -- Television advertising in state Supreme Court elections nearly hit $30 million this year.

The record $29.7 million was spent on more than 51,000 ads this year,according to data from TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG and released by the Brennan Center for Justice and Justice at Stake. The old record was $24.4 million in 2004.

This year, 10 states saw TV spending surpass $1 million. Those states were Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and West Virginia.

In Louisiana, there was a run-off election to replace retiring Justice Kitty Kimball. In the final two weeks of the race, more than $113,000 was spent on TV ads. Nearly a quarter of that was spent by the Clean Water and Air PAC, which ran attack ads against candidate John Guidry. Jeff Hughes defeated Guidry 52 percent to 47 percent.

For the entire Louisiana campaign, the data shows that 2,838 TV ads aired and nearly $2 million was spent on the ads. The Clean Water and Air PAC spent $429,000 for TV ads during the entire campaign, and The American Future Fund also was a big spender, data shows.

A more thorough look at TV ad spending -- and links to the ads -- can be found at http://www.justiceatstake.org/state/judicial_elections_2012. The page is hosted by the Brennan Center for Justice and Justice at Stake.

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