Judge-elect Shaker absorbs his campaign costs

WARREN — Chris Shaker, the soon-to-be-sworn-in judge of Niles Municipal Court, is absorbing the six-digit loan he gave himself for the campaign.

Shaker spent $112,500 of his own money on the successful campaign for the judgeship after Judge Thomas Townley announced his retirement at the end of this year. Shaker did not accept any campaign contributions to fund his campaign. The majority of his costs went to advertising, printing, postage and media production.

A campaign finance deadline Friday required some candidates and groups raising money for issues to turn in financial reports for fundraising and spending since Oct. 19.

Democrat Shaker won the race 53.5 percent to 46.5 against independent candidate Kara Stanford.

Stanford, who received more than $11,000 in campaign contributions during the reporting period, outspent Shaker in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 7 election. She spent nearly $16,000 on video production, advertisements, mailers and postage. Much of the cash she received from donors was from relatives. She also received a $6,000 loan.

Shaker spent $12,705 on media production, printing, a banquet and advertising during the same reporting period.

Shaker won all 13 Niles precincts, while Stanford took the majority of precincts in McDonald and Weathersfield.

In the prior repor0ting period, for financial activity between August and October, Stanford spent about $23,000, outspending Shaker for that period too, by about $3,600.

Shaker spent much of the $112,500 he loaned himself before Stanford entered the race.

Shaker also beat out three primary candidates before winning the nomination and spent a chunk of his cash then. He spent $55,407 between Jan. 1 and April 12, while his opponents spent under $9,000 each.

The six-year term begins in January 2018 and pays $125,850 a year. Shaker said he will be sworn into office at 11 a.m. Dec. 30 at the McKinley Memorial.