Dean posts $525K, takes sizable financial lead on campaign foe

Monday, April 11, 2011 at 5:16pm

Mayor Karl Dean has amassed a campaign war chest of approximately $525,000 four months before August’s election after pulling in about $203,000 in contributions from supporters in February and March.

Candidates for Metro’s Aug. 4 election were required to turn in financial disclosures Monday detailing receipts from the most recent reporting period. Previously, Dean had $426,000 cash on hand for his re-election bid but has since hired a campaign staff and opened a headquarters, among other expenditures.  

“I am thankful to receive support from so many people,” Dean said in a statement. “I absolutely love my job, and I would be honored to lead our city into the future for another term.”

Dean’s fundraising totals put him at a commanding financial advantage over lone challenger Metro Councilman Michael Craddock, who has raked in slightly more than $14,000 since announcing his candidacy in February. The Madison-area councilman has already spent a large chunk of those funds, and has about $8,700 on hand.

“I am very humbled and thankful to receive the support of hard- working, everyday Nashvillians,” Craddock said. “Their hard-earned contributions to my campaign for mayor will be spent the same way I’d spend their tax dollars — very, very wisely,” Craddock said.

In February, Craddock told The City Paper he had accumulated $125,000 in financial commitments.

In a press release sent Monday, Craddock seemed to downplay his modest contribution totals, suggesting his donations have come from rank-and-file citizens. He noted the average donation to his campaign is $109. He said he has received 128 contributions, with 110 of those averaging just more than $24 each.

Four years ago, Dean relied on more than $1 million in family fortunes to help bankroll his campaign. Dean’s wife, Anne Davis, is the heir of coal money.

Never mentioning Dean by name, Craddock seemed to allude to Dean’s use of personal wealth in Monday’s press release.

“I knew going into this race that we face an enormous disadvantage in money,” Craddock said. “[Thirty-five] years ago, I married a lady I met cruising at Shoney’s in Madison — she is not a multi-millionaire.”  

On Friday, Dean received endorsements from 10 elected Metro officials including Sheriff Daron Hall, Trustee Charlie Cardwell, County Clerk John Arriola, District Attorney Torry Johnson and Criminal Court Clerk David Torrence.

Dean said he was “honored and humbled” to have their support.

But Craddock labeled the group the “courthouse elite,” adding that he’s not surprised they support the incumbent.

“The courthouse elite endorsed my opponent within months of facing potential budget cuts,” Craddock said “This doesn’t surprise me because some of them have told me privately they feel their budgets are in danger for not going along with my opponent.”

Craddock did not identify who has privately told him about such concerns. 

Filed under: City News

15 Comments on this post:

By: Floyd2 on 4/11/11 at 3:36

Craddock has clearly laid out his campaign strategy of lies and personal smears. He is an embarrassment to this city.

He lied about having $125,000 in fundraising "commitments." Maybe those "commitments" are from the 46,000 he claims signed a petition to support the racetrack. The petition that he won't show anyone.

Craddock will sink to any depths to advance his personal political agenda. Look at how he attacked Dean's wife. That is beneath contempt.

The fact of the matter is that Karl Dean has been a very solid mayor during his first term. He has balanced the city's budget without new taxes, and he showed real leadership during the flood. He deserves a second term.

No one supports Craddock and he is left to sling mud and call names. How shameful.

By: NoodlesSarducci on 4/11/11 at 4:40

Lots of chatter that Craddock's inner cirlce is advising him to get out of this race quickly before he embarrasses himself.

By: LocalGirl on 4/11/11 at 8:03

Even if Craddock gets to 125,000, compared to Dean's 525,000K, it would still only be roughly:

By: Writeman on 4/11/11 at 8:58

Dean will be re-elected. But nothing wrong with Craddock or anyone else taking a swipe at the big guy with the sometimes goofy smile. That's the American way.

By: IgnatiusJ on 4/12/11 at 5:30

I believe in vigorous campaigns, but was saddened to read Craddock's quotes in this article. His personal attacks and slanderous comments are not becoming of a public servant or an honorable campaign. You're going to try to distract the public from the lack of financial support for your campaign by attacking your opponent's wife?!?!? Seriously?

By: HokeyPokey on 4/12/11 at 5:36

that CARMEN ad has about the ugliest foot I've ever seen in it.

The opera's a war horse anyway, and the ad doesn't make me want to go hear it, sorry.


By: fdanshep on 4/12/11 at 5:45

Whether he is a Republican or Democrat, do you really want Michael Craddock being the face of this city?

By: nash615 on 4/12/11 at 5:48

Have no love for Craddock, and especially not for Dean. But, given the local history of fake grassrooting, PR smear campaigns, and underhanded politicking in the past couple of years, wouldn't be surprised to find that most of the above comments are paid PR plants posing as concerned citizens. Dean will probably win this election, but it almost certainly won't be because he's the victim of his opponents' smearing, quite the opposite.

By: treehugger7 on 4/12/11 at 6:23

Just as it was four years ago, Dean is the lesser evil. At least he can talk intelligently, a quality that was missing in most of the candidates last time around. The thought of Craddock for four years is more then I can bear. This is why metro elections aren't held the same time other elections are. They do not want voters to turn out for the locasl fiefdom elections.

By: Community-carl-... on 4/12/11 at 7:22

Dean has the support of the wealthy, priviliged, and well connected factions of the voting populace. It is so convenient that their agendas for Nashville's future entwine so well with his. The endorsements from 10 elected officials is ludicrous.
For practical intents and purposes, Dean controls their future careers......they are terrified of reprisals if they don't publicly endorse him. (They are well aware that the metro budget planning for next Fiscal Year is in progress, and Dean is in a position to make their lives miserable if he so chooses.)

Craddock, on the other hand, has the support of the financially struggling, unheard, and politically ignored segment (and majority) of Nashville voters.

Craddock is blunt and plain spoken....Dean is a teflon plated slickster.
Craddock earns votes...Dean buys them.

I will be voting for Craddock as a vote against Dean.

By: budlight on 4/12/11 at 7:59

Dean gave us so much. In Antioch my taxes went up over $600 a year and I got trash pick up. Whoopee-do! I paid $20 a month for private trash pick up. The guy NEVER spilled garbage on my lawn or street. Now the Metro trash collectors spew trash all over out of their big truck with no lid on it. No thanks. Dean, No way. You fooled me once - but not again. Raised taxes with no raise in benefits. Unless more crime counts.

By: jasonweaver on 4/12/11 at 8:22

Love it that Dean's hacks jump on to say Craddock will stoop to anything to promote his own political agenda. Fact is Dean did marry into some money, coal money. That's not slinging mud. That's a fact. Politics is a bare knuckled fight, not powder puff football. The city is in tough financial shape and Dean's people go out and do a deal with HCA that will take what eventually will be vacant land in the heart of Nashville off the tax rolls. And the city will spend more money in total (both spent and not received) than if the city had proceeded with renovating and expanding the Lentz center. That's good financial stewardship ... Craddock might not be the best but perhaps he wouldn't spend the city into oblivion.

By: Community-carl-... on 4/12/11 at 10:23

Yes, Dean is like many (not all) wealthy people who are especially good at spending other people's money while stuffing their own pockets.

By: BigPapa on 4/13/11 at 7:21

Carl, last week you are alll over Dean for "not doing anything about Opry Mills" well... If you missed it, they are re-opening (not due to Dean but still..)
Anyone that thinks Dean won't win this election is delusional. Craddock's candidacy is simply a protest vote (and a waste of time.)

By: Captain Nemo on 4/13/11 at 9:18

Craddock is everyone’s friend as long as he gets their vote. Once in office he will be at every free meal the elite has to offer.