Although the field for the November City Council race was just finalized last week – the fundraising (for serious candidates) began earlier this year. (Some would say the fundraising never stops.)
Only four of the 7 challengers to the three incumbents had established a campaign finance committee for reporting purposes as of June 30. See Lisa P. White’s article on the field of candidates entitled “Concord: Seven challengers seek to unseat three incumbents.”
A quick look at the campaign finance statements as of the required June 30 filing shows Vice-Mayor Ron Leone leading this year’s pack of candidates with a cash-on-hand (COH) of $68,043. His outstanding debts, which are loans he made to his committee in 2010, total $19,989.
Brent Trublood, a first time candidate, shows a balance of $22,957 with $21,629 being a loan he made to his committee.
Mayor Tim Grayson reports a balance of $18,963 with a 2010 campaign debt to a local graphic designer of $6,238.
Councilmember and Former Mayor Laura Hoffmeister reports a balance of $7,936 and a debt consisting of loans she made to her committee from her 4 previous campaigns of $34,958.
Dr. Harmesh Kumar, who has previously run for City Council, shows a balance of $1,947 and a debt of personal loans to his committee totaling $74,442.
Another challenger, Vernon Kurpieski, reported a balance of $35.33 after personally loaning his committee $2,400.
Terry Kremins, who has also previously run for City City Council, reported no fundraising in the January to June 30, 2014 period.
Now those reports were as of six weeks ago – one presumes serious candidates have been actively fundraising since. The next campaign finance statement is due in September.
Interesting note: Councilmember Edi Birsan has already shifted his campaign committee to 2016 and shows a balance of $1,372 with a debt consisting of loans he made to his committee from his two previous runs for Council of $84,246.
Disclosure: I also made loans to my campaign committees when I ran for City Council – but never in the magnitude that current candidates are routinely doing. Perhaps they feel a certain independence in self-funding their campaigns? Or are they having trouble getting donations? We all want “big” money out of elections – but how much have you contributed towards political campaigns this year…or ever?
Question: Assuming you wanted to serve on the City Council and knew a credible campaign could cost as much as $50,000 (given postage, signs, etc.) – How much of your own money would you contribute to your own campaign?