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Place 3: Shade holds $106,000; Tovo at $70,000

Friday, April 15, 2011 by Mark Richardson

War chests are brimming with cash in the only truly contested race for the Austin City Council election on May 14. According to campaign finance reports, Place 3 incumbent Randi Shade is sitting on a $106,000 nest egg while challenger Kathie Tovo has more the $70,000 going into the last month of the campaign.


Shade has not reached into her own pocket for funds, but Tovo, whose name is not widely known, has committed $40,000 of her own money to the race, allowing her to announce a fundraising total of about $85,000.


Thursday was the deadline for all candidates for the May 14 election to file a Contributions and Expenditures (C&E) finance report, noting how much they have raised, how much they have spent, and how much that have left 30 days before Election Day.


In the other races, Places 1 and 4, incumbents Chris Riley and Laura Morrison have significant leads in the money department over a field of minor challengers.


Shade reports that she has raised more than $98,000 since Jan.1, and has spent almost $62,000. She has raised a total of $168,000 since she announced she was running for re-election in November.


Max Nofziger, the former Council Member who emerged from retirement to challenge Shade, has raised only $1,865, with about $1,600 left to spend; and Kris Bailey, who reports having raised $1,467, has $1,426 available for the rest of the campaign. Bailey’s main campaign platform is that Austin police should not arrest those found in possession of marijuana. 


However, Nofziger’s chances should not be discounted. Persistent rumors about a recent poll have Nofziger running second to Shade in voter popularity. 


In a statement released Thursday, Shade published a list of campaign donors that included, among others, Mario Espinoza, Karen Friese, Richard Hatfield, Dave Sullivan, Ellen Richards, Betty Baker, Charlie Betts, Dan Pruett, Susan McDowell, Carrin Patman, Lynn & Tom Meredith, former Council Member Brewster McCracken, and Mayor Lee Leffingwell.


Shade also received contributions from a number of political action committees, including the Austin Board of realtors PAC, the Austin Firefighters PAC, the Austin Police Association PAC, and others.  Shade’s campaign also listed a number of campaign bundlers, or people who solicit contributions on her behalf. Among those were attorneys David Armbrust and Nikelle Mead and engineer Karen Friese and lobbyist Joe Garcia.


Tovo, a former Planning Commissioner, noted her contributors include Sarah Campbell, Danette Chimenti, Colin Clark, Mandy Dealy, Linda Guerrero, Bryan King, Ann Kitchen, Jean Mather, Mary Gay Maxwell, Janis Pinelli, Robin Rather, Brian Rodgers, Donna Tiemann, and Roy Waley. Danette Chimenti and Bryan King were also listed as donation bundlers for the Tovo campaign.


Place 1 incumbent Riley, who is running for his first full term, has raised more then $57,000 since the first of the year. He has spent almost $35,000 on the campaign, and has about $61,500 cash on hand. His most articulate opponent in the race is former Assistant City Manager Roger Chan, who has raised about $3,400 during the reporting period. He has spent about $750, and reports having about $2,700 on hand. Another Place 1 Candidate, Josiah Ingalls, has raised $79, spent $124, and has $32 on hand. The City Clerk’s Office did not receive a report from the final candidate in this race, Norman Jacobson.


In the Place 4 race, incumbent Morrison has raised a total of $43,000. The campaign still owes her almost $33,000 from her race three years ago. Her account has more than $59,000 going into the late stages of the race. 


Challenger K. Toby Ryan Hill (See Whispers, April 14, 2011) reports raising $14,500, spending just under $8,000 and having about $4,400 on hand. The other Place 4 challenger, Eric Rangel, reports raising about $1,200, and spending some $3,900 during the reporting period. He has less than $300 left.

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