About Us

Make a Donation
Fully-Local • Non-Partisan • Public-Service Journalism

Final fundraising totals for May election released

Friday, July 17, 2009 by Austin Monitor

Final campaign finance reports from this spring’s election are in and they show that both Council Member Chris Riley and his Place 1 rival Perla Cavazos raised significant amounts of money and spent it freely until the day of the election, with Riley ultimately raising and spending almost $30,000 more than Cavazos.


In the final week of the campaign, Cavazos raised $18,466 and spent $37,200. In contrast, Riley only raised $10, 239 and spent $35,192. Over the course of the campaign, Riley raised $163,888 and spent $184,549. Presumably, Riley spent around $20,000 of his own money, which would show up under expenditures, but not contributions. (An earlier report showed Riley had spent about $10,000 of his own money on the race.)


Cavazos managed to attract some big name donors, but ultimately was behind in fundraising. She raised a total of $152,841 and spent $155,797. (In Fact Daily called Cavazos’ staff, but was not able to get to the bottom of the slight discrepancy between contributions and expenditures.)


Riley’s contributions come from a mix of lawyers, members of various boards and commissions, cyclists, downtown activists and developers, and environmentalists.


The PAC representing the Austin Firefighters Association endorsed Cavazos in the Place 1 race and also donated to her campaign. Her list of supporters includes some prominent names from the fields of business, entertainment, and Texas politics. Former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros contributed to Cavazos, as did former Texas Land Commissioner Garry Mauro and long-time Democratic organizer Deece Eckstein.


Attorney and former political consultant Rick Cofer, who dropped out of the race in January, filed a report showing that he contributed $31.56 in contributions to the Austin Community Foundation.


Council Member Sheryl Cole, who faced an energetic but uncharismatic opponent in Sam Osemene, was able to retire the $45,000 campaign debt from her 2006 race and make a number of charitable donations. Cole donated $1,000 each to the Austin History Center and Communities in Schools; $2,000 to the NAACP and to United Way; $1813 to Safe Place and $3,000 to the Austin Parks Foundation.


Council Member Mike Martinez had an uneventful re-election also. His latest report shows that he had more than $24,000 in the bank at the end of the campaign. Martinez, a Democrat, gave $1500 to the Futuro Fund and returned a $700 contribution from Republican Clayton and Modesta Williams of Midland. Williams lost a race for Governor to Ann Richards in 1992.


Council Member Bill Spelman, who ran unopposed, ended his campaign at a zero balance. His report shows payments to Ian Davis, his campaign manager—now an aide—of $3,750 and $4,000 to political consultant Mark Yznaga in May.


(For details on the Mayor’s race, see Thursday’s, July 16, 2009 In Fact Daily.)

Join Your Friends and Neighbors

We're a nonprofit news organization, and we put our service to you above all else. That will never change. But public-service journalism requires community support from readers like you. Will you join your friends and neighbors to support our work and mission?

Back to Top