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Election 2017
Independent City Council candidates lead in late summer fundraising
Sean Tubbs | Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at 3:22 p.m.

Over July and August two independent candidates in the race for two seats on the Charlottesville City Council have raised more money than the two Democrats according to the latest campaign finance report filed with the Virginia Board of Elections.

Independent Nikuyah Walker raised $4,052 between July 1 and August 31 as reported by the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonprofit that tracks campaign finance across the state. That includes three $500 donations.

Walker’s campaign spent $2,869 during the reporting period and had $3,492 in cash on hand as of August 31.

Independent Kenneth Jackson reported raising $2,562. He began with a balance of $578 and spent $2,922 leaving $218 as of August 31.

According to the report filed with the state Board of Elections, Jackson’s campaign also overdrew its bank account 21 times during the reporting period for a total of $672.

“Bank charges are specifically referenced in the campaign finance laws and must be reported when paid by the campaign like any other expense,” said Rosanna Bencoach, the city’s registrar.  

Jackson acknowledged the bank fees in an email to Charlottesville Tomorrow.

“Campaigns cost money,” Jackson said. “Funds don’t always come in when needed but you still have to get things done.”

Jackson said he and his treasurer have since added overdraft protection to his campaign’s bank account.

The two Democrats in the race raised much less during the period but have raised much more money over the course of the whole year.

Amy Laufer received $1,200 during July and August including one $1,000 donation from Stewart Tripp. However, Laufer began the period with $2,796 on hand and spent $3,456 during the two months including $1,795 for advertising in C-Ville Weekly. She ended the period with $539 on hand.

Heather Hill reported receiving $582 during July and August and spent $792 during the period. She ended with a balance of $766.

During the first 6 months of the year, Hill raised $23,956 and spent $22,696 during that period. Laufer raised $22,951 and spent $20,153 during the same period.

Independent John Edward Hall has raised no money during the campaign and has no plans to do so.

Independent Paul Long filed a report that stated he raised no money during the period but spent $147.20 on campaign literature and postage. His report dated Sept. 11 includes errors.

“We are contacting Mr. Long about amending his records,” Bencoach said.

Independent Cassie Clawson dropped out of the race but reported receipts of $607 and expenses of $243. The campaign had a balance of $459.

The next campaign finance report is due on Oct. 16 and will cover fundraising during September.

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