More than $64,000 has poured into the Columbus mayoral race, according to campaign finance reports turned in to the City Registrar’s Office as of Wednesday.
Independent candidate Keith Gaskin outraised his competitor, Democratic incumbent Robert Smith, by nearly $18,000. Independent candidate Montrell Coburn did not turn in a campaign finance report by Wednesday.
Opposed candidates for the general election were required to file campaign finance reports by Tuesday. They must itemize, or list, all contributions or expenses of more than $200.
Gaskin raised a total of $41,237.83 and spent $31,686.03, leaving him with $9,551.80 on hand.
Of his contributions, $24,397.38 were non-itemized. The highest of those itemized was from his campaign manager, Bennett Windham, who donated $1,200. His campaign also received $1,000 each from Patricia Curtis, Andrew Orr, Clifton Scott and Pelican LLC on Greenbriar Drive; $750 from George/Marian Hazard; $600 from John Beard; $500 each from Lindsay Clemons, Harvey Myrick, Thelma Pugh, Tillman Rodabough, Leigh Imes, William Walker, Andrew/Anna Benton of Caledonia, Roger Burlingame, Jerry Fortenberry, John Frazier and Clyde Rhea; $400 from V Lane Pierrot; $300 each from David Ivy of Marietta, Georgia, Wanda McIntyre, Carol Boggess, Nicole/Doug Bateman, Dr. J/Lee Ann Starr, Penni Rhett, Martha Kirkley and Theresa Thompson; $250 each from Scott Hannon, Alison Alexander, Tim Perkins, Scott/Allyson Jones, Mark/Kathy Novotny, Richard Johnston, Ann Thames and downtown business The Bride and Groom.
Smith, on the other hand, raised a total of $23,401, all of it itemized. He spent $14,621.87, leaving him with $8,779.13 on hand.
Smith contributed $10,000 to his own campaign. He also received $6,000 from Jabari Edwards, owner of J5, which the city uses as its project management firm, and $1,000 from Neel-Schaffer, which the city uses as its engineering firm.
Additionally, he received $1,000 each from Mack A. Smith and the Highway 45 convenience store Cal-Kola Inc.; $501 from Mack Patel; $500 each from Sandeep K. Sethi of Canton, Stephen C. Edds of Ridgeland, McNeil Rhoads LLC, Lorene Jamison, Jon/Sue Fairbank of Jackson and Andy’s Heating and Cooling; $300 each from George/Shelia Cain, Burt Richardson and Chester Leigh.
In the Ward 1 race, independent Kallie Phillips outraised Democratic incumbent Ethel Stewart by roughly $5,000.
Phillips reported receiving $6,991 in contributions, $6,191 of which she listed as non-itemized. She has spent $5,614.54, leaving her with $1,376.46 on hand. She received $500 from John Bean and $300 from Julia Phillips.
Stewart reported raising only $500 in the most recent campaign period. Because she faced fellow Democrat Tommy Jackson in the April primary, she had to turn in another report in March, at which time she reported receiving $1,350 in contributions, bringing her year-to-date total to $1,850. As of this last period, she spent $1,831.02, meaning she spent $1,331.02 of her own money.
The $500 she received in contributions was from United Steel Workers District No. 9 in Gardendale, Alabama, according to her finance report.
In the Ward 3 race, Democrat Sally Brown Tate outraised Republican Rusty Greene by $5,130.
Tate reported receiving $9,965, of which $5,050 were in non-itemized contributions. She spent $9,814.67 and reports having $1,702.33 on hand, meaning she contributed $1,552 to her own campaign, which she did not list in the report.
Tate received $700 each from Columbus Light and Water board member Michael Tate and Corky Smith, who is the son of CLW board attorney Jeff Smith. She also received $470 each from Johnathan West and Marcus West, co-owners of Carter’s Funeral Home; $400 from Andy Stewart; $300 from Linda Jones; $275 from Robert Woodard; $200 each from Velma Woodard, Valerie Jackson, Donald Pritchard, Barney/Luberta Tate, Chuck Easley, Jeremy/Kinetra Grant, Jackie Stennis and Tradayia Jones.
Greene raised $4,835, of which $3,085 was non-itemized. He spent more than he raised, at $4,852.43, none of which was itemized. He reports having $534.35 on hand.
Greene received $500 each from John T. Bean III, Bernard W. Bean and Mississippi Realtors Association, as well as $250 from Gay G. McCrary.
Independent Kori Bridges did not turn in a campaign finance report by Wednesday.
In the Ward 4 race, independent incumbent Pierre Beard Sr. reports raising $650 more than his Democratic challenger, former Ward 4 councilman Marty Turner. However, Beard has also spent more and has no cash on hand.
Beard reported receiving $1,950, all in non-itemized contributions. He has spent $2,341, meaning he would have spent $391 of his own money.
Turner has raised $1,300 during this campaign period — all itemized — and spent $1,201, leaving him with $99. Like Stewart, he ran in the Democratic primary and reported raising $1,036, meaning he has raised $2,336 in contributions for this race.
According to his most recent report, Turner received $1,000 from Lathan Turner and $300 from Douglas T. Turner of Jacksonville, Florida.
The general election will be Tuesday.
Ward 2 Democratic incumbent alderman Sandra Sistrunk boasts the most campaign contributions this cycle, though she is providing most of her own funding.
Sistrunk has reported a total $13,999.26 in contributions in 2021, including $3,340.50 during the general election filing period. She has spent $11,456.49 and has $2,542.77 on hand.
Overall she has funded her own campaign to the tune of $9,864.26, with $3,385 in non-itemized contributions. Her only itemized contributions from third parties are $500 from Jim Mozingo and $250 from Richard Corey.
By contrast, her Republican challenger Brice Stubbs reported $5,775 in contributions, including $2,975 non-itemized. Those itemized include $500 each from Donald Ellis, Huxford Consulting, Welch Entertainment and Jimmy Joe Buckley, who ran against Sistrunk in the Democratic primary.
In the general election filing period, Buckley gave a $1,500 total to three general election candidates, all Republicans.
Stubbs received $300 from the Oktibbeha County Republican Party and gave $500 to his own campaign. He has spent $4,049.73 and has $1,725.27 on hand.
Democrat Mike Brooks has almost tripled Republican Kevin Daniels’ fundraising in the Ward 4 race.
Brooks has reported a total of $13,525 in contributions, including $6,015 non-itemized. Of his itemized contributions, he received $500 each from Charles E. Morgan Construction Company and the MARPAC political action committee; $300 from George Sherman and $250 from Bulldog Tire this filing period. In the previous filing period, he reported Castle Properties gave $500; Henry C. Pilkinton and Byrum Construction each gave $300; and Mr. and Mrs. Henry C. Bell III, Bertram S. Mortimer and Richardson Rental Properties donated $250 each. Brooks also loaned $4,110 of his own to his campaign.
Brooks has spent $8,234.87 and has $1,003.67 on hand.
Daniels has raised $5,004.63, including $1,304.63 non-itemized. Of those itemized, he received $2,500 from Craig Campbell of Stephens Group in Little Rock, Arkansas; $500 from Huxford Consulting; $300 from Frank Chiles; and he contributed $400 himself.
He has spent $4,465.99 and has $538.64 on hand.
In the Ward 1 alderman race, Republican incumbent Ben Carver holds a slight fundraising advantage over his Democratic opponent Christine Williams.
Carver reported raising $7,885, including $4,310 non-itemized. Of his itemized contributions, he received $1,000 from Huxford Consulting; $500 each from Robert Rogers, Mark Castleberry and Jimmy Joe Buckley; $300 each from the Oktibbeha County Republican Party and Mark Welch; $250 from David Buchanan; and $225 from Phil Griffin of Murfreesboro, Tennessee-based Griffin Strategies. The campaign also spent $785 with Griffin Strategies.
Overall, Carver reported $7,885 in expenditures, including $2,172.78 non-itemized, leaving him with no cash on hand.
Williams reported $7,151.14 in fundraising, with her only itemized contribution being $300 from Monika Jankun-Kelly. She reported $6,851.14 in non-itemized contributions. She has spent $4,846.61, leaving her with $2,502.53 on hand.
In Ward 5, Republican Anna Chaney has outraised Democratic incumbent Hamp Beatty.
Chaney reported $3,615.33 in contributions, all but $300 itemized. She received $500 each from Huxford Consulting and Jimmy Joe Buckley; $300 from the Oktibbeha County Republican Party and $250 from Starkville Home Team Realtors.
In her pre-primary finance report, Chaney reported an additional $1,765.33 in non-itemized contributions.
She has spent $2,788.12 and has $827.21 on hand.
Beatty reported $2,125 in total contributions, all non-itemized, and $2,460.21 in spending.
Conflict disclosure: Managing Editor Zack Plair took part in editing this article. He is currently in legal proceedings that involve the city of Columbus. Details are available in previous reporting.
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