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Ora Houston leads money race in City Council District 1

Thursday, July 17, 2014 by Elizabeth Pagano

Two candidates are pulling away from the pack in fundraising to represent Austin’s African-American opportunity district, District 1.

Ora Houston has raised the most money so far, solidifying her status as the presumed frontrunner. Houston has raised $29,173 through June 30, with $20,378 remaining after expenditures.

Among her contributors are some familiar names, including Mary Arnold, Bertha Means, Joan Bartz, Bill and Caren Bradshaw, Eugene Sepulveda, consultant David Butts, attorney Jerry Harris, Hut’s owner Michael Hutchinson, former Planning Commissioner and daughter of Wille Mae Kirk, Saundra Kirk, Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder, U.S. Hispanic Contractors Association Executive Director and MACC Advisory Board Chair Juan Oyervides, Texas Campaign for the Environment’s Robin Schneider, Ed Wendler Jr. and former Swede Hill Neighborhood Association president Tracy Witte

DeWayne Lofton, who is running for City Council for a second time, has raised less than half the amount Houston raised in this first period. Lofton lent his own campaign $10,100, and raised $12,450 in all. Of that, Lofton has $20,327 remaining, after expenditures. Among Lofton’s supporters are Hoover’s restaurant owner Alexander Hoover Jr., attorney Rudy Colmenero and former Council Member Willie Lewis.

Writer Valarie Menard, who is one of the most recent additions to the crowded District 1 contest, raised just $150 by June 30, with $100 on hand.

Sam Osemene, who was one of the first to declare his intention to run, had raised $4,700 by the deadline. His paperwork does not say how much of that money is remaining at this time. Many of his contributors were listed only by first name and he failed to list their addresses. This is Osemene’s third run for office. He ran against Council Member Laura Morrison in 2008 and Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole in 2009.

Andrew Bucknall lists $3,009 in contributions so far, with $2401 on hand after expenditures. Bucknall ran against Lee Leffingwell in 2005 when Leffingwell won his first seat on the City Council.

Anti-fluoride activist Norman Jacobson has lent his campaign $500, which is the total amount raised so far. His report indicated that less than that remains on hand. He apparently did not collect any outside contributions.

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