Few Nashvillians are voting, but that hasn’t stopped Metro Council runoff candidates from raising thousands of dollars to pay for campaign essentials like yard signs, mailers and personnel.
In a runoff election that has garnered only 1,142 voters spread among five races, candidates are doing their part on the financial end, collectively raising more than $92,000 between July 26 and Sept. 5, with plenty in their pockets left to spend. Candidates were required to disclose their contributions and spending figures for the final stretch no later than Thursday.
Early voting runs through Sept. 10. Election Day is Sept. 15. Runoffs feature the two leading candidates from the Aug. 4 general election in races that didn’t produce a winner with more than 50 percent of the vote.
Leading the pack in fundraising — taking in nearly seven times more dollars than his opponent — is former mayor’s office aide Brady Banks, who raised $23,557 during the six-week period, putting him with $29,277 on hand for his District 4 race. He spent $14,188 between July 26 and Sept. 5.
Banks’ donor list includes At-large Councilwoman Megan Barry and outgoing Councilman Jamie Hollin, among others.
“I am humbled by the outpouring of financial support I have received,” Banks said in a statement.
Banks’ opponent, Dave Patterson, who had been running on a save-the-fairgrounds mantra prior to August’s general election, reported raising $3,525 and having $2,050 on hand.
In East Nashville’s highly competitive District 6 race, candidates Dave Rich and Peter Westerholm both showed impressive fundraising efforts, with Rich slightly besting his opponent.
Rich, who opted to mail his disclosure to the Davidson County Election Commission, raised $11,518 since July 26, and has $9,591 on hand, according to Hollin, who is serving as Rich’s campaign advisor.
Westerholm has $9,728 on hand after raising $10,460.
If fundraising is an indicator of election success, then Scott Davis is in a strong position against District 5 foe Pam Murray, the former councilwoman ousted from her seat two years ago via public recall.
Davis reported raising $12,234, bringing his cash-on-hand total to $4,109.
Murray, facing heightened scrutiny after her nephew allegedly physically assaulted a man in a yard-sign altercation, reported having $0 on hand after raising a measly $200 since July 26. Murray listed no contributors. By law, candidates must disclose only contributions of more than $100.
Murray’s report also lacks the signature of her campaign treasurer.
In the Antioch-area District 33 race, challenger Page Turner reported raising $6,950, positioning her with $4,784 on hand. Turner — backed by Mayor Karl Dean — has a donor lists that includes Barry, outgoing Councilwoman Kristine LaLonde and “Friends of Carol Soloman.”
Turner’s opponent, Robert Duvall — the lone sitting council member in a runoff — did not submit his disclosure to the election commission, presumably opting to mail his report. Duvall could not be reached for comment.
Rounding out the runoffs, District 13 candidate Josh Stites raised $14,250 since July 26, and reported having $7,791 on hand.
His opponent, former NAACP Nashville chapter president Marilyn Robinson, raised $10,027 and has $5,988 on hand.