Freddie O’Connell raised $1.2 million during the runoff disclosure period, which bested the previous record of $1.1 million by Megan Barry in the 2015 election. The total was almost triple that of his opponent, Alice Rolli, who raised $441,729.
O’Connell’s campaign spent $804,768 and had $474,214 for the final ten days of the race, according to campaign finance disclosures filed Friday. Rolli spent $350,920 over the same period and had $142,378 cash on hand for the final stretch.
With the haul, O’Connell raised more during the six weeks of the runoff period than he did during the previous 15 months of his campaign.
“So I think we see a few things in this,” O’Connell told the Banner. “A lot of the candidates [in the Aug. 3 election] were running in the same direction. And so a lot of unified support is possible now that there is a runoff between two candidates who are clearly running in very different directions. We also know though — and this is true for the two of us who reached a runoff — that donor energy isn’t exactly the same as voter energy. So our overall operation is focused on getting voters back out to the polls on September 14 or during early voting.”
O’Connell’s disclosure, which included totals from July 25 through September 4, came in at 605 pages and temporarily choked the Davidson County Election Commission’s campaign finance system. DCEC staff had to work with a technology vendor in order to make it public.
“That’s a pretty impressive haul in a few weeks,” said Pat Nolan, political analyst for NewsChannel 5. “That is another indication to me that if his idea was to bring together the progressive movement and the business community, it was a success.”
Not in this disclosure were the totals from an interim report filed on Sept. 6, which included another $66,800 and featured an $1,800 donation from Bobby Joslin, who along with Bill Hostettler took out an ad attacking O’Connell in the Aug. 3 election. Three members of Hostettler’s family also contributed the $1,800 each to O’Connell. A Sept. 7 interim filing reported another $26,400 for O’Connell.
On her Sept. 7 interim report, Rolli disclosed another $10,000 in donations.
The Rolli campaign gave no comment.