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Riley leads Cavazos in fundraising, cash on hand

Friday, April 10, 2009 by Austin Monitor

In Place 1, candidate Chris Riley has an edge in the fundraising department over Perla Cavazos. Riley reports raising $76,000 in the period ending March 30 and having generated more than $102,000 since the start of his campaign. His campaign still has about $48,000 in the bank going into the final month before the election, which is approximately twice the amount as Cavazos.


Although Cavazos did not get her report filed with the city clerk by Thursday’s 5pm deadline, Cavazos’ campaign manager later emailed a copy of the report to members of the media. Campaign manager Laurie Felker Jones said she did not get the report in on time due to computer problems. 


“I’m pleased to see both wide-ranging and deep support from donors across Austin,” Riley said. “From several students who donated $10 to prominent community leaders who defied the economic downturn to contribute the maximum, I’m honored to see so many folks taking an active role in supporting my campaign.”


Riley’s contributions come from a mix of lawyers, members of various boards and commissions, cyclists, downtown activists and developers, and environmentalists. Prominent RECA member Kirk Rudy and SOS Alliance member Brad Rockwell both contributed to Riley’s campaign, as did former Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty and ACLU activist Ann Del Llano.


Riley received donations from cycling activists Michael Bluejay and Robin Stallings, downtown developers John Rosato and Tom Stacy, neighborhood activist Blake Tollett, and the unions representing the Austin Police Association and the Austin/Travis County EMS Employees Association.


The PAC representing the Austin Firefighters Association endorsed Cavazos in the Place 1 race and also donated to her campaign. Cavazos raised just over $64,000 in the most recent reporting period and a total of $82,000 so far. “We raised $25,000 in just the last two weeks, and that momentum has continued to increase since the March 31st cut-off,” said Cavazos’ campaign manager. The Cavazos campaign reports about $24,000 in cash on-hand with one month left to go before the election.


While Cavazos is trailing Riley in overall fundraising and cash on hand, her list of supporters includes some prominent names from the fields of business, entertainment, and Texas politics. According to the Cavazos campaign, 21 percent of her contributors come from outside Austin.


Former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros contributed to Cavazos, as did former Texas Land Commissioner Garry Mauro and long-time Democratic organizer Deece Eckstein. Cavazos’ campaign received money from Council Member Mike Martinez, and Cavazos herself donated to the Martinez campaign. Former Travis County DA candidate Gary Cobb is supporting Cavazos, as are Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector Nelda Wells-Spears and Mexic-Arte Museum Director Sylvia Orozco. Cavazos has also garnered support from some Austin neighborhood activists including Jean Mather, Jeff Jack, Carole Cespedes, and Linda Team.


Several Austinites with exceptionally deep pockets also contributed to Cavazos’ campaign. Video-game designer Richard Garriott contributed the maximum amount of $350, businessman and philanthropist Gregory Kozmetsky chipped in $250, arts benefactors Joe and Teresa Long each contributed $300.


Stratus Properties’ CEO Beau Armstrong and his wife contributed $700 to Riley and the same amount to Cavazos.


Fundraisers at Stanley Garrison & Associates worked for Cavazos through mid-March but that is no longer the case. Susan Harry is raising money for Riley, as well as for Mike Martinez, Sheryl Cole and Bill Spelman.

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