Alabama's New Top Judge Raked in Money from 49 States in 2012

When Roy Moore won back his former job as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2012, he raised more out-of-state money than any other appeals court judge running in the country, according to a new report by a Justice at Stake partner organization.

Moore’s campaign took in $265,440 — or 41 percent of his total campaign contributions — from donors in 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Australia and Canada, and $143,000 of the total came from an attorney in Maryland, the National Institute on Money in State Politics reported.

Its report is entitled “Courting Donors: Money in Judicial Elections, 2011 and 2012.” The study closely examines the $53.6 million raised by judicial candidates in that period, up from $45.4 million in 2009-2010 and down from $63.4 million in the last presidential election cycle, 2007-2008.

The report has detailed information about judges who raised the most money and donors who gave the most, and it also identifies these trends:

  • Fundraising in partisan judicial elections outpaced nonpartisan races;
  • As in the past, candidates heavily funded their campaigns out of their own pockets;
  • Most judges standing for another term in a retention (yes-or-no) election faced no challenge;
  • Incumbents had an 87 percent success rate, and candidates who raised the most money had a 71 percent success rate.

Meanwhile, the News & Observer mentioned the report in an article looking ahead at this year’s North Carolina Supreme Court elections, which are expected to feature high spending. NIMSP was a co-author with Justice at Stake of an earlier study, “The New Politics of Judicial Elections, 2011-12.


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