As expected, Matt Wiltshire posted the highest fundraising totals of the second quarter in the mayor’s race, with just over a half-million dollars raised. But hot on the former MDHA executive’s heels are Councilmember Freddie O’Connell and state Sen. Jeff Yarbro, who raised $293,000 and $351,000 respectively and have sizable cash reserves for the final push to the Aug. 3 election. Heidi Campbell raised more than $325,000, but had less of a fundraising cushion.
The fundraising totals raised by the leading candidates are as follows (links are to complete campaign finance disclosure):
Here’s how the leading candidates’ cash on hand ranks for the last few weeks of the race:
Gingrich, who has mostly self-funded his race, has almost exhausted his original $2 million personal loan and would need to add more to keep up his TV blitz. Wiltshire loaned himself almost $350,000 to start the race and has led at every fundraising disclosure. Both of them have spent heavily to raise their relatively low name identification numbers with voters.
O’Connell told the Banner last year that he needed to raise more than $500,000 to be competitive and he’s hit those marks, garnering more than $700,000 in donations to date while running a tight operation, expense-wise. Yarbro and Campbell had to hustle after getting into the race late. But Yarbro has combined strong fundraising with $141,000 from his state senate campaign and a $50,000 personal loan to gain an advantage. Campbell has not touched the $69,000 in her legislative account.
Weeks ago, Campbell’s campaign advisers signaled behind the scenes that they believed their best path to a runoff was via a robust ground operation, letting others get involved in a more expensive TV ad battle while Campbell took advantage of her strong name ID earned in last year’s congressional race against Andy Ogles. Though she released a 30-second spot, Campbell hasn’t bought much airtime for it.
Republican Alice Rolli has raised less, but also has a less crowded path to the runoff as she seeks to consolidate conservative voters. Lagging behind are Sharon Hurt and Vivian Wilhoite, who both released campaign spots this week, but only made small ad buys.
Gingrich and Wiltshire, on the other hand, have spent heavily on TV advertising and rank 1-2 in money spent for the quarter:
Minor candidates Natisha Brooks ($7,220) and Fran Bush ($18,300) have raised comparatively little money and have not qualified for most mayoral forums. Stephanie Johnson’s disclosure was not available at press time.
Several campaigns reported problems filing electronically on Monday night and also filed paper copies with the Davidson County Election Commission.
Disclosure: Matt Wiltshire has donated to the Nashville Banner. Financial supporters play no role in the Banner’s journalism.