Spearman leads SC superintendent money race

      By ANDREW COFFMAN SMITHAssociated Press

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Molly Spearman is leading the money race among eight Republicans trying to become South Carolina's next superintendent, while Montrio Belton leads the four Democrats seeking the job.

      First-quarter campaign disclosures show Spearman had nearly $67,500 available as of March 31. The director of the state Association of School Administrators has almost $9,000 more available than Sally Atwater, widow of the late Republican strategist Lee Atwater.

      Almost 90 percent of Spearman's $90,500 raised in the quarter came from South Carolinians, while almost 90 percent of Atwater's $39,000 came from out-of-state donors.

      Coming in third among Republicans is activist Sheri Few with $24,000 available.

      Meka Childs, the candidate endorsed by outgoing Superintendent Mick Zais, has more than $12,000 available. She's his former deputy superintendent.

      Belton leads Democrats with more than $29,000 available.

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