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Jo Clifton is the Politics Editor for the Austin Monitor.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2020 by Jo Clifton
In the home stretch, candidates report on fundraising
With only one week to go until Election Day, candidates for City Council were busy Monday filing their eight-day reports. Some candidates are looking at Nov. 3 as the end of the campaign trail, while others have to consider the possibility that they will be in a runoff and might need to conserve some cash for that eventuality.
That’s certainly a possibility in the District 10 race, where the incumbent, Alison Alter, reported that she had raised $12,636 over the most recent reporting period. She has spent more than $109,000 and maintained contributions of more than $63,000 in the bank. She received contributions from 123 contributors.
Alter’s opponents include Pooja Sethi, who received $6,125 in contributions from 105 people during the past month. Sethi reported she had spent about $16,000 recently and still had nearly $68,000 in the bank.
Robert Thomas, who is hoping to usher Alter out the door, reported 146 contributors over the past month had given him nearly $39,000. He spent just a little less than $79,000 and maintained about $32,000 in the bank as of Oct. 24.
Jennifer Virden reported raising nearly $38,000 over the past month, spending about $54,000 and hanging on to more than $64,000 as of Oct. 24. She has loaned her campaign $50,000 and received contributions from 233 supporters.
Ben Easton reported that he had raised no money and spent no money on the race. There was no report on the city clerk’s website from the final candidate in District 10, Belinda Greene.
There are only two candidates in District 7, incumbent Leslie Pool and challenger Morgan Witt. During this reporting period, Pool raised about $10,600 from 63 contributors and has spent more than $50,000 on her campaign. She reported still having more than $16,000 in the bank. Witt reported receiving 46 contributions totaling about $2,200. She still had $12,644 in the bank as of Oct. 24.
In District 2, David Chincanchan reported he had raised a little over $12,000 from 53 contributors. He spent a little less than $40,000 and still has more than $59,000 in the bank to continue the race if he is in a runoff.
The other candidates in this race are Vanessa Fuentes, Casey Ramos and Alex Strenger. Strenger’s name will appear on the ballot even though he has stopped campaigning and has endorsed Ramos. His report showed no contributions. The city clerk’s website did not have reports from Fuentes or Ramos Monday night.
Council Member Jimmy Flannigan reported raising about $36,000 for his District 6 race. He spent more than $40,000 and still had about $58,000 in the bank, according to his report. Flannigan had 155 contributors during the last reporting period, including Mayor Steve Adler, whose name appears first on the list.
Flannigan’s opponents include Jennifer Mushtaler, Mackenzie Kelly and Dee Harrison. There was no report from Harrison on the city clerk’s website last night. Mushtaler reported raising just $7,380 and she had a little less than $4,300 left. However, she had some notable contributors, including Kirk Mitchell, a longtime contributor to the Save Our Springs Alliance, as well as Ann Denkler, who serves on the Zoning and Platting Commission, and her husband, Jett Hanna. Kelly reported raising about $14,700 and had about $7,000 left in the bank after spending more than $47,000.
In District 4, Greg Casar has two opponents. Ramesses II Setepenre reported that he raised and spent no money on the race. Louis C. Herrin had 30 contributors and raised less than $3,800. He reported that he had spent less than $12,000 and still had about $6,800 in the bank. He also reported that he had support from the political action committee Fight for Austin.
Casar reported he had 190 contributors over the past month, who donated about $34,000 to his campaign. He spent about $55,000 and maintained nearly $47,000 in the bank as of Saturday.
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Key Players & Topics In This Article
Austin City Council: The Austin City Council is the body with legislative purview over the City of Austin. It offers policy direction, while the office of the City Manager implements administrative actions based on those policies. Until 2012, the body contained seven members, including the city's Mayor, all elected at-large. In 2012, City of Austin residents voted to change that system and now 10 members of the Council are elected based on geographic districts. The Mayor continues to be elected at-large.