Lets jump into the numbers.
What Everybody Raised, By Office Sought
After raising no money, mayoral candidate Nicolas Lucier stated,
I vow to take no financial contributions in the 2014 Electoral Cycle, in order to remind Austinites, and the population at large, that Statesmanship, is not about the money, and politicians, are not welcome in any of the representative bodies in Texas.
Thats a nice sentiment. However, its probably not a good strategy if you want to win.
Money Is Important Because Campaigns Cost Money
This is true, and this isnt a bad thing. Staffers like to get paid so they can in turn pay their rent and eat. Personally I was always a fan of not defaulting on my student loans, so when we want to decry money in politics lets first remember that a lot of progressive youths and not-so-youths are getting by on organizer salaries. I digress.
I asked a well-known direct mail consultant, Tom Kelly, roughly what it costs to send 100,000 pieces of mail — a number that is more than enough to contact every voter in any of the single districts but not nearly enough to cover the 250,000 potential voters in the citywide Mayors race.
100,000 mailers would cost roughly $9,800 to print; $4,200 for data and mailshopping; and about $26,000 for postage, plus sales tax on the printing and mailshop. All together, those 100,000 pieces of mail will run you about $40,000, plus a bit more for sales tax.
As you decrease the size of the universe, the cost-per-piece goes up, so even 25,000 mailers will still cost around $16,000 or so. (That is, of course, if youre using a union print shop. If youre not, expect it to become a problem in the Labor and Democratic Club endorsement process. Just a #protip for yall out there.)
All in all, if campaigns want to send a few mailers and hire people to work for them — heck, even if they want to print walk sheets — its going to cost money. So lets talk about who raised what, and who spent what.
Where The Moneys Going: Top Districts By Money Raised
Obviously the cadre of mayoral candidates raised the most. Steve Adler raised $366,191.82, and Mike Martinez raised $162,206.73. Sheryl Cole brought in another $93,870, and with the minimal amounts that Todd Phelps and Randall Stephens added, the overall mayoral haul was $624,403. Not a bad chunk of change.
Heres the cumulative money raised in each of the 10 districts. Note: this is raised only, not self-funded.
District 1: $48,247
District 2: $16,277
District 3: $21,204
District 4: $111,327
District 5: $64,833
District 6: $73,452
District 7: $51,394
District 8: $90,777
District 9: $140,158
District 10: $203,149
District 10 led all other geographies in total funds raised with over $200,000, due in part to three candidates clearing $45,000: Robert Thomas ($52K), Mandy Dealey ($50K), and Sheri Gallo ($45K). Next highest was District 9 with $140,158, led by Chris Rileys $96,851 haul. Finally, District 4 saw over $111,000 be poured into the coffers of six of the nine candidates announced.
By The Districts, By The Numbers
In District 1, Ora Houston is presumed to be the frontrunner owing to her long history of service to the community. She raised over $29,000 — more than the other five candidates combined — and has a campaign manager on the ground. Former candidate DeWayne Lofton finally launched his campaign and raised over $11,000 but its not clear if he has the time to make up the difference.
In District 2, Delia Garza is a clear front-runner, not just because she managed to raise more money than her opponent — who couldnt even make my monthly student loan payments with his cash on hand — but because she has an impressive campaign operation and widespread community support.
District 3 is more perplexing at this point. The 9 candidates raised a collective $21,204, led by Susana Almanzas $11,170. However, Fred McGhee loaned himself over $12,000 and Shaun Ireland tossed $6,970 into his own campaign, so they too have money to spend. The big X-factor here is turnout. This is a traditionally lower-turnout area, and if the other candidates can marshal a real grassroots operation, money may not matter as much here as it will in the more suburban districts. Keep an eye on Julian Limon Fernandez, of Austins iconic Limon clan, and Sabino Pio Renteria, long-time neighborhood advocate (and brother of Almanza).
As for District 4, lord-or-whatever-you-believe-in have mercy. There are 9 candidates, and they raised a total of $111,000 — in a district that may have the lowest turnout. Former Workers Defense organizer Greg Casar brought in $40,057; health policy expert Katrina Daniels raised $30,065; and former candidate and anti-flouride activist Dr. Laura Pressley raised $30,430. While that somewhat distinguishes the frontrunners, this race is far from settled. Sharon Mays is also making a solid impression among City Hall watchers, and Marco Mancillas is familiar with the political circuit as well. Are any residents of the district not planning a campaign at this time?
In District 5, former State Rep. Ann Kitchen was the clear fundraising leader, bringing in over $42,000. Former chief of staff for Wendy Davis (yes that Wendy Davis) Daniel Buda raised $14,854 himself. Kitchen also added another $20,700 in loans, while Buda tossed in $5,100. Meanwhile, Republican activist Jason Denny and attorney Dave Floyd are still in the race as well, along with Mike Rodriguez. Its hard not to see Kitchen as the frontrunner here; arguably whatever anti-Kitchen vote exists might well be split between the other opponents.
Up in District 6, which straddles the Travis-Williamson County line, Jay Wiley, Jimmy Flannigan, and Pete Phillips Jr. all raised between $20,000 and $23,000 dollars. Surprisingly, former legislative candidate Matt Stillwell only brought in $7,451. Wiley also added over $11,000 in loans to his coffers. In this district, which could actually elect a Republican, Wiley has emphasized his conservative credentials. Meanwhile, Democrats need to unite behind a candidate to propel into the runoff.
Over in District 7, which runs from Allandale up to Howard Lane and includes large swathes of McNeil all the way over to Dessau Road, Jeb Boyt led the way with $20,338 raised, followed by Jimmy Paver, who brought in $18,581. No one else cracked $7,000. Paver added a $40,000 loan to his campaign, while Ed English gave himself $10,000.
Down in District 8, which includes southwest Austin, five serious candidates combined to raise over $90,000 led by previous candidate Darrell Pierces $36,617 haul. Ellen Troxclair and former candidate Eliza May also raised around $18,000 each, while Becky Bray loaned herself $50,000. Ed Scruggs raised over $9,000 and added over $6,000 in loans.
In District 9, where sitting councilmembers Chris Riley and Kathie Tovo will square off along with newcomer Erin McGann, Riley led the pack with $96,861 raised. Tovo raised $41,332, and now has $76,807 in outstanding loans, though over $60,000 is leftover from her 2011 campaign effort. Despite raising more than twice as much as Tovo, Riley kept his expenditures lower and has over a 2-to-1 cash-on-hand advantage.
Last but in the minds of Tarrytowners certainly not least, District 10 saw the largest aggregate raise of over $200,000 flowing into nine campaign accounts. As noted above, three candidates raised more than $45K apiece (Dealey, Gallo, and Thomas). Thomas supplemented his funds with a $100,000 cash loan. This district will likely have the highest turnout, but with so many candidates vying for a spot in the inevitable runoff this race will remain challenging. Adding to the chaos was the late entry of former candidate Jason Meeker, who may challenge Dealey for hardcore Democratic votes.
Hey Big Spender!
Interesting occurrences can sometimes take place designed to spark adversity for lots of people in the course of acute instances. Getting hold of some sort of mandatory Fast Cash Advances Loans is usually a w