McFarland loans campaign $75k

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By Damon Lawrence

How bad does Tom McFarland want to be circuit court judge?

Enough to loan his campaign $75,000. According to his second-quarter campaign financial disclosure report, he did just that on June 18.

McFarland’s contributions from individuals during the period totaled $2,000.

John Valliant Jr., a Knoxville attorney, donated $1,000 of that.

McFarland faces Mike Pemberton in the race for circuit court judge of the 9th Judicial District. Russell E. Simmons Jr., the current judge, is retiring on Aug. 31.

Second-quarter reports were due on July 10.

Pemberton raised $9,150 during the second quarter.

His biggest contributors during the period were attorneys Tony Farmer and Michael Winchester and Dr. Ronald Higgs. Each donated $1,000.

Pemberton hadn’t loaned himself any money in the race, but said he anticipated doing so this week.

“Campaigns are extraordinarily expensive, and it’s gotten to be the norm now where candidates do loan themselves money,” he said.

Early voting for the election is underway and runs through Aug. 2. Election Day is Aug. 7.

The 9th Judicial District is made up of Roane, Loudon, Meigs and Morgan counties.