By Mariann Martin, contributor
More than 50 candidates running for 15 city council seats have raised more than $2.5 million for their campaigns. However, their individual fundraising varies from nothing to almost $200,000.
Spending also varies greatly, and several candidates have nearly $100,000 left in their coffers in the final weeks before the Nov. 7 election.
Candidates filed their latest fundraising and spending information the first week in October, with about 4 weeks left in the race. Several candidates listed on the ballot did not complete filings in October.
Howard Shook, the incumbent running for District 7, has raised the most money at $196,000, with nearly $100,000 on hand. Eleven other candidates have raised more than $100,000 for their runs for a city council race with only eight incumbents running for re-election. Several city council members chose to run for mayor or city council president rather than running for re-election.
Very few of the races have more than one candidate who raised more than $100,000. Courtney English, candidate for Post 1 At Large, raised $158,000, with $62,000 left to spend. Incumbent Julian Bond raised $79,000, with $45,000 left.
Matt Westmoreland, who is running for Post 2 At Large, raised $177,000, and still had $94,000 left. Two other candidates in that race have both spent more than they raised. Cory Ruth raised $64,000, with expenditures of $72,000, and Bret Williams raised $1,770 and spent $4,190.00.
Andre Dickens, the only incumbent who is running unopposed, raised $148,000.
Moraima “Mo” Ivory, candidate in District 1, raised $108,579.00, with $36,000 unspent. Incumbent Carla Smith raised $65,273.63, with $33,000 left. Three other candidates in that race have raised less than $20,000 each.
Two competitors in District 2 raised more than $100,000. Amir Farokhi raised $170,872.00, and Lauren Welsh raised $112,095.00. Five people are competing for the seat, but the three other candidates have each raised less than $20,000 each.
Four people are running in District 3. Greg Clay raised $69,000 and incumbent Ivory Lee Young raised $44,000. Ricky Brown reported he did not raise any funds for his race and Darrion Fletcher did not file a report for October.
District 4 has the most candidates, with eight people running against incumbent Cleta Winslow. Jason Dozier has raised the most money in that race, with $74,000 in fundraising and $34,000 on hand. Kimberly Parmer raised $23,303, but still has $18,000 in reserves. Other candidates have raised less than $20,000 each, with Mr. Adassa and Winslow each raising $14,000.
District 5 has only two candidates, but both candidates have raised significant funds. Natalyn Archibong has raised $76,633.60 and Liliana Bakhtiari raised $101,991.91.
Jennifer Ide and Kirk Rich in District 6 raised with $118,000 and $145,000 respectively. Rich was one of the few candidates who chipped in personal funds in his race, with a $20,000 loan. He had $92,000 in unspent funds.
Dustin Hillis is the only candidate in District 9 who raised significant funds. He raised $50,000, while the other three candidates reported less than $1,000 each in fundraising.
In District 10, Kenneth Hill raised $128,000, but loaned his campaign $93,000. He has spent all but $38,000 of that money. Andrea Boone raised $78,000 and has $52,000 left. The other two candidates have raised less than $10,000 each.
In another race with numerous candidates, Marcia Overstreet is the frontrunner in fundraising for District 11, with $60,000 raised. The other six candidates have raised significantly less, with Harold Hardnette raising $21,000, and Anthony Johnson raising $22,000. The other candidates have raised less than $20,000.
District 12 candidates also have huge disparities in fundraising. Joyce Sheperd, the incumbent, raised $125,000 and spent $100,000. Randy Gibbs raised $34,000 and spent $25,000. Diana Watley raised $11,000 and spent nearly $6,000, and Michael Jackson reported no fundraising or expenditures.