Follow the money in the Asheville City Council race

Love it or hate it, money plays a major role in any election cycle — and local politics are not exempt. Anyone going into the polling booth tomorrow should take a second to look over the candidates’ campaign finance records.

Conveniently, the Buncombe County Board of Elections Web site includes reports for the political-action committees that can play their an important role in elections. Included are the reports for the Committee for Fair and Balanced Asheville Elections (which has received three-fourths of its funding from the N.C. Association of Realtors — money used mostly to take out ads, including a full-page one in the current issue of Xpress and a TV spot); Voters for Non-Partisan Elections (which received a large number of mostly anonymous small donations); and Democracy for America (which only has its pre-primary reports up). Voters for Non-Partisan Elections has endorsed Dwight Butner, Jan Davis and Bill Russell, while Democracy for America has endorsed Elaine Lite, Brownie Newman and Bryan Freeborn.

It should be noted that Lite also supports nonpartisan elections and that Freeborn, while originally voting for them, has said he’ll support the results of the referendum (also to be voted on tomorrow), while Newman still supports partisan elections. More interesting facts about each candidate’s campaign can be learned from their reports.

— David Forbes, staff writer

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