Asheville City Council candidates build up funds as election approaches

The latest campaign finance reports — and the last before the Nov. 8 election — in the Asheville City Council race show some candidates rapidly increasing their funds, though the amounts still remain lower than the last race in 2009.

The amounts raised, as of Oct. 31, are as follows, with links to the candidates’ reports. The amounts reported earlier this month, just before the primary, are in parentheses.

Mark Cates $33,522 (up from $20,011)
Marc Hunt $23,671 (up from $22,946)
Jan Davis $16,811 (up from $9,875)
Chris Pelly $14,658 (up from $11,054)
Lael Gray $12,895 (up from $9,784)
Saul Chase $9,090 (up from $8,740)

Cates’ campaign funds are bolstered by another infusion from the candidate: about two-thirds of Cates’ campaign funds have come from loans. Meanwhile, Davis’ leap in funds is from individual donors, including many local business owners, perhaps spurred by Davis’ fourth-place finish in the primary, which surprised some observers who expected the race’s only incumbent to make a stronger showing. Hunt, Pelly and Gray’s fundraising has remained relatively flat over the last month, but those candidates took the top three in the primary, respectively, and so might be feeling fairly secure. In addition, the three have been endorsed by the neighborhood advocacy group People Advocating Real Conservancy and the Sierra Club, both of which have actively campaigned for them.

Early voting is going on now, and continues through Nov. 5.


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8 thoughts on “Asheville City Council candidates build up funds as election approaches

  1. Barry Summers

    Mr. Cates is spending $20,000 (so far) of his own money to get a seat on City Council? He seems to really really want it. I wonder what’s the payoff that would justify that expense… The satisfaction of helping Asheville citizens get jobs through his new ‘green economy’ plan?

    Color me dubious…

  2. Jake

    I suspect Mr. Cates is gambling that he can buy enough yard signs, billboard space (or is that billboard time?) and other advertising to win, whereupon donations would presumably flow in, enabling his campaign to repay him.

    I think most of us realize that his ‘green economy’ plan is just so much talk, and that his true agenda is to “strike a blow from within.” But I learned long ago not to overestimate the electorate, and I’m guessing Cates did, too.

    Color me cynical…

  3. D. Dial

    Color me wondering;

    If he cares so much about Asheville, why hasn’t he voted in any municiple elections? His tax records show him paying taxes here since 2005.

    I see no funds begins designated to Mr. Cates’ campaign director Fritz Chaleff (whose previous job was paying him $65,000 a year 2010)…..are we to presume he’s here in little ole Asheville as Cates campaign director for free?

    Will spending large amounts of money on signs and milers and promising the most obvious, win Mr. Cates a seat on Council

    We shall see.

  4. Barry Summers

    Obviously, Asheville’s reservoirs are extremely valuable.

    Very true. BTW, since Tim Moffitt’s bill to seize Asheville’s water system raised such a ruckus back in May, he had to change it to a “study bill”. That meant the General Assembly would assign staff from the Legislative Research Commission and appoint Representatives to a subcommittee to ‘study’ the issue. Well, Mr. Moffitt recently got himself appointed Chairman of the subcommittee that will study his own bill, and they will focus on the “efficiency” of taking the City-owned water system and giving it to the County-dominated Metropolitan Sewerage District.

    The City and the MSD have politely asked to be allowed to present their opinions to Mr. Moffitt’s subcommittee, but as of yet, he won’t even tell them when it is meeting.

    …and yes, the authorizing documents allow the subcommittee to conduct “comparative analysis” between the current public-owned water system to any existing “private systems”.

    Stay tuned.

  5. A correction: Cates is well ahead of the highest spending in 2009, and this is not the final report. (These numbers are as of Oct. 20.)

  6. luther blissett

    The snarky response to Cates’ ad barrage is to call it ‘stimulus’, but the billboard money probably goes out of the city.

  7. Barry Summers

    Does anybody know what is the previous record for self-financing a Council campaign? Twenty grand is a lot to spend for a job that pays $18,281.

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