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Campaign finance reports show who’s got the money

Monday, October 17, 2022 by Jo Clifton

With less than a month to go before Election Day, the latest campaign finance reports show that in the mayor’s race, former senator and mayor Kirk Watson continues to outraise his opponents by large margins. According to records filed Tuesday, Watson had raised more than $244,600 since July and still has more than $821,000 in the bank.

His closest competitor, former state Rep. Celia Israel, raised more than $97,000 over the same period of time and spent nearly $200,000. That leaves her with about $65,500 in the bank. Jennifer Virden, the outspoken conservative in the race, reported raising about $32,000 and spending more than $68,000. Because of the previous $300,000 loan to herself, Virden still has about $311,000 to spend.

The Austin Monitor could not find a report for the most recent reporting period for the other candidates: Phillip Brual, Anthony Bradshaw and Gary Spellman. Spellman has said he would not raise any campaign funds, as has Bradshaw. Brual’s July 15 report showed he had raised $250.

District 1

Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison is the frontrunner in her race for re-election, bringing in nearly $31,000 since July and maintaining nearly $62,000 for the remaining days of the race.

Misael Ramos, a newcomer to politics, reported raising $7,881 and having $8,866 still in the bank.

Clinton Rarey said he had about $525 left in his campaign account after raising more than $3,900 and spending more than $3,800.

The newest contender for the District 1 seat, Melonie House- Dixon, reported raising $925, spending more than $2,600 and having $1,075 left.

District 3

Six contenders are vying for the seat being vacated by retiring Council Member Pio Renteria. The candidate raising the most money is José Velasquez, who reported contributions of nearly $31,000. He still had more than $62,000 in the bank when the report was filed.

Daniela Silva reported raising $11,126 and maintaining about $8,300 when the report was filed. Gavino Fernandez had about $7,800 in the bank after raising about $4,750 since July.

José Noe Elías said he had about $6,400 in the bank after raising $4,309 since July. Yvonne Weldon reported that she had no funds remaining after raising $520 since July and spending $1,158. Photographer and videographer Esala Wueschner reported raising $1,015 and maintaining about $168 in his campaign account.


District 5

Ken Craig, who has been Council Member Ann Kitchen’s aide for the past seven years, has nearly $50,000 in the bank in the race to take over the District 5 seat. That figure includes a little more than $13,000 raised since July.

Ryan Alter also reported raising about $13,000 since July and has nearly $50,000 in the bank.

Stephanie Bazan has more than $42,000 to fight for the District 5 seat, having raised about $7,400 since July.

Bill Welch reported that he had about $4,600 left in the bank after raising nearly $11,000 and spending nearly $19,000 on the campaign.

Aaron Webman reported raising nearly $14,000 since July and spending more than $41,000. He still has more than $63,000 in the bank.

Brian Anderson reported raising $4,175 since July and maintaining a balance of about $3,360.

District 8

Incumbent Council Member Paige Ellis reported raising more than $22,000 over the last few months. She has more than $121,000 to finish the campaign. Her opponent, Richard J. Smith, said he has $31, 573 after raising about $10,800 over the last few months. He owes himself an outstanding loan balance of $16,000.

District 9

There are plenty of contenders to take over the seat held by retiring Council Member Kathie Tovo. Here they are with the amounts raised and maintained as of the recent report:

Ben Leffler raised $17,452 and maintained $84,236. Greg P. Smith raised and maintained $66,366. Linda Guerrero raised $28,885 and maintained $50,100.

Thomas Wald raised $2,470 and maintained $23,087; Joah Spearman raised $15,742 and maintained $6,223; Zoah Qadri raised $22,872 and maintained $35,522; Zena Mitchell reported raising no money for the race and spending $75 since the July report.

As previously reported, Kym Olson has $55,550 in her campaign bank account after receiving a loan from her sister for $50,000.

Early voting starts on Oct. 24 for the Nov. 8 election. Tune in this week for our lunchtime forums, hosted with KUT, to learn more about the candidates running for City Council.

The Austin Monitor’s work is made possible by donations from the community. Though our reporting covers donors from time to time, we are careful to keep business and editorial efforts separate while maintaining transparency. A complete list of donors is available here, and our code of ethics is explained here. This story has been changed to remove a statement that Susana Almanza is the campaign treasurer for Fernandez. In fact, she is treasurer for the Elías campaign.

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