Finance reports and the Mayor’s race

Finance report updates: David Robinson has filed his corrected report, which includes the $53,095.57 cash on hand total that was omitted in the original. There were no other changes made. Mayoral candidate Kevin Simms has now filed his report. He lists $4,033.83 in contributions, $2,873.79 in expenses, and $1,160.04 on hand. Interestingly, he also lists those same contribution and expense totals in the “contribs/expenses of less than $50” spaces, even though 15 of his 45 contributions were for $100 or more, and every single one of his expenses was $60 or more. I guess the purpose of those spaces wasn’t clear to him.

At this point, the candidates of whom I am aware that have not filed finance reports yet are:

Scott Boates, At Large #1
Michael Williams, At Large #2
Griff Griffin, At Large #2
Joe Edmonds, At Large #5
Alvin Byrd, District B
Kenneth Perkins, District B
Bryan Smart, District B
Randy Locke, District C
Otis Jordan, District K

I should note that there actually is a filing listed for Byrd on the city’s CFR website. It is signed by someone named Hubert Hines, and is otherwise completely blank. (Go here, click the first Search button with all fields blank – you will then see all filings for 2011. Go to page 6 to see Byrd’s.) I will continue to monitor for late filings.

Meanwhile, the Chron writes about the Mayor’s fundraising and the status of her race.

By this time two years ago, the four major candidates in the race to succeed the termed-out Bill White were months into their campaigns and had raised hundreds of thousands of dollars each. The only announced challenger to Parker this year who filed a finance report by Friday, Deputy Fire Chief Fernando Herrera, has $3,334 in his account.

Anyone considering a run against Parker also has to reckon with a history that indicates she still can raise more money if she needs to. In 2009, without the advantage of incumbency or even perceived front-runner status for most of the campaign, Parker collected more than $3 million from contributors.

“I think everyone knows if she wants to raise more money, she can,” said political strategist Dan McClung.


About the only way a serious challenger could emerge at this point, [political consultant Marc Campos] said, is with his or her own money.

But [Craig Varoga, a Washington, D.C.-based political consultant who ran the campaigns of former mayors Bob Lanier and Lee Brown] doubted that even a self-funded challenger could gain much on Parker.

“No one can raise $2 million in the next three months. Anyone who is not a self-funder will wait two years and see how the mayor looks at that time. A self-funder would run the risk of reminding voters that he or she has buckets of dough while everyone else in the world is struggling,” Varoga said.

I agree with most of this, but I disagree that anyone who might think about challenging the Mayor will wait two years before taking action. They’ll simply wait to see how Parker does in November. Like all three of her predecessors in the term-limits era, Parker is running against non-entities for her first re-election. Two of those prior Mayors, Lanier and Bill White, cruised easily with around 90% of the vote, and had a similarly smooth ride for their second re-election. Brown, on the other hand, received only 67% of the vote against his two no-name foes, and was immediately seen as vulnerable for 2001; serious opposition, from Council Members Orlando Sanchez and Chris Bell, subsequently ensued.

So I believe that Parker’s 2013 opposition will be based, at least in part, on how she is perceived to have done this year by that standard. If the conventional wisdom says that she beat expectations, she’s less likely to face a real opponent in 2013. If not, you can expect someone, quite possibly more than one someone, to start campaigning against her fairly quickly.

What is the threshold she must achieve in order to meet or exceed expectations? I don’t know, and neither does anyone else. That will be determined by the local political hive mind after the election. It’s going to be a function of gut reaction more than anything else, so there’s no point trying to assign a number to it. Assuming that nobody else does join the race – there’s still several weeks till the filing deadline, after all – Parker will be graded by a standard that won’t be determined until after she takes the test. That’s just the way it is.

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8 Responses to Finance reports and the Mayor’s race

  1. paul kubosh says:

    Charles, I thought I would let you know that I am becoming a regular reader of your blog. I realize that doesn’t mean we will be agreeing on red light cameras but you do post stuff that the media misses. I find your comments thought provoking. Which doesn’t mean I agree with you. However, I also know you don’t care if I agree or not. Keep up the good work. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Paul. I really appreciate them, and I hope to continue to give you reasons to read.

  3. absolutely Charles, you are doing bang up work here. Your hard work putting all of this in one easy access spot is greatly appreciated. Please keep it going.

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