Campaign Money Fattening Local Coffers

The latest campaign finance reports show who's supporting which candidates for mayor and council

Campaign finance reports are in from candidates vying for mayor and City Council, and while unusual circumstances surrounding the mayor's race resulted in less money for this reporting period, which covered through Dec. 31, they still offer a window into the candidates' reserves of support.


• Lee Leffingwell: The council member's delayed declaration in running for mayor meant he raised no money for this election before Dec. 31, but he did declare $6,509 in contributions through the period. A separate political action committee, Draft Lee Leffingwell for Mayor, garnered $1,650, mainly from PAC principals such as Ted Siff and Joe Pinnelli (who each contributed the maximum amount of $350).

• Brewster McCracken: The mayor pro tem is also off to a slow start, fundraisingwise. He reported $17,778 in contributions, $3,078 in expenditures, and $14,700 in cash on hand, yet without serious opponents in the race until recently, he may have felt less incentive to fundraise right out of the gate. Contribu­tions came from UT urban management professor Terrell Blodgett, former Austin Down­town Commis­sion member Jeb Boyt (who also contributed to Leffingwell), and developer Larry Warshaw and wife Paige, who together contributed $700. McCracken has a major fundraiser scheduled at the Belmont on Jan. 28, the results of which won't be posted until the next round of campaign finance reports, due April 9. Josiah Ingalls, also running for mayor, reported zero contributions and zero expenditures.

• Carole Keeton Strayhorn: The fundraising success story of the cycle; her special-purpose PAC, Carole for Austin, hauled in $41,162, spending only a little more than $140. Her contributors include several familiar old Austin dynasties: Frisco Shop proprietor R. Harry Akin, nephew of Night Hawk founder and former Mayor Harry Akin, donated $350; former UT president and Chancellor William H. Cunningham and wife Isabella donated $700; and the McClellan clan, including Strayhorn's sons Scott, Mark, Brad, and Dudley, gave $2,100.

Leffingwell campaign consultant Mark Nathan says Leffingwell has loaned himself $41,163 – $1 more than Strayhorn's haul – to make up for his late start.

Place 1

The three-way City Council race for Lef­fing­well's seat is financially competitive. • Perla Cava­zos collected $17,945 and has $17,021 on hand, with contributors including her former boss, state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. ($350); former Council Member Jennifer Kim ($100); and former state Rep. Ann Kitchen ($100).

• Rick Cofer garnered $15,080, with $14,090 on hand. His list of contributors includes Demo­crats such as Matt Curtis ($350), former congressional candidate Larry Joe Doherty ($350), and former state Rep. Glen Maxey ($200).

• Chris Riley broke out of the Place 1 pack, collecting $26,090, with $23,959 left after expenditures. Contributions included $700 from the Jeb Boyt household, $700 from developer Perry Lorenz and wife Sheridan, and $350 from Ted Siff.

The Others

• Bill Spelman, running thus far unopposed for the Place 5 seat now held by McCracken, reported $11,321 raised and $10,327 in cash on hand, with contributions coming from attorney Fred Lewis ($350), the Lorenz household ($700), and consultant and former Council Member Brigid Shea ($200).

• Mike Martinez, the Place 2 incumbent who's yet to draw a challenger in his re-election bid, reports raising $22,476, leaving him with $24,575 on hand and $26,100 in outstanding loans. He lists seven "bundlers" – people who have the political muscle to raise money on a candidate's behalf – including attorneys Richard Suttle and David Armbrust and engineer consultant Karen Friese.

• Sheryl Cole, facing nominal opposition in Place 6 from Sam Osemene (who didn't file), has $28,420 in contributions, $21,649 on hand, and $45,000 in outstanding loans. Her bundlers include attorney and Real Estate Council of Aus­tin Executive Committee Member Nikelle Meade and engineer Brian Reis.

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City Council, election, Lee Leffingwell, Brewster mcCracken, Carole Keeton Strayhorn, Perla Cavazos, Chris Riley, Rick Cofer, Bill Spelman, Mike Martinez, Cheryl Cole

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