Record Money Raised for Mayoral Campaign

Record Money Raised for Mayoral Campaign

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Sam Jones vs. Sandy Stimpson has been record breaker for the amount of money raised and spent on a mayoral race in Mobile.

According to campaign finance reports, through the first week of August, Stimpson had raised $1,360,665, more than three times the amount raised by Jones who collected $344,365.

"Money can do a lot for you but it doesn't guarantee you're going to win," said George Talbot, Political Editor for al.com.

Talbot says this race bucks convention wisdom as usually the incumbent has the money advantage.

"It is hard to run and raise money against an incumbent because (donors) don't want to get sideways with the incumbent, whether it's a mayor or governor or whoever and Stimpson has had no trouble doing that," said Talbot.

Almost 80-percent, more than a million dollars of Stimpson's money has come from individuals - a fact the Stimpson campaign is proud of.

"We've had 2,000 people contribute to the campaign," said Stimpson. "The way I look at that is, they're investing in their businesses, investing in their homes, and in the future of our city."

Money is pouring into this campaign and not just from Mobile. Contributions are being made throughout the southeast, and even the country.

About 70-percent of both candidates money has come from Mobile.

Stimpson has gotten far more from elsewhere in Mobile-Baldwin, mostly the eastern shore.

Almost a quarter of Jones' money is from outside Mobile-Baldwin.

Neither candidate has a problem with contributions coming from outside the city.

"I think if you look at anyone's contribution list you'll see Baldwin County, Mobile, Birmingham, Montgomery," said Jones. "I don't have a problem with that because you have a lot of people in those areas that are former Mobilians."

Stimpson says Airbus and its potential spinoffs are driving some of those out-out-town dollars.

"People realize we have got to seize this opportunity because the more we can get to locate here, the bigger the economic impact on the whole state of Alabama' said Stimpson. "So that's why people in Birmingham are supporting the Sandy Stimpson campaign, and the ones in Montgomery."

Both candidates have been successful raising money from political action committees.

PACs are responsible for almost half of Jones' contributions and Stimpson has received more than 200-thousand-dollars from PACs.

The majority of Jones' PAC funding has come from ACEPAC – Alabama Citizens for the Environment - a PAC set-up by City Attorney Larry Wettermark.

"A PAC is merely a way that people can contribute to campaigns," said Jones. "ACEPAC doesn't just contribute to my campaign, they actually contribute to other campaigns."

That's true. ACEPAC has donated to almost a dozen other loc candidates since it was formed eight years ago, but none in the last three years, and combined the donations don't begin to match the money given to Jones this summer alone.

Among the bigger ACEPAC donors this election cycle: Volkert Engineering and Austal USA.

Meantime, one PAC is responsible for 70% of Stimpson's PAC money. South Alabamians for Better Government, originally formed as a way to finance former Governor Bob Riley, has contributed more than 142,00-dollars to Stimpson. Much of this PAC's money came from Grace Pilot and the Pilot family of Pilot Disaster Recovery. The Pilot family is also among Stimpson's biggest individual contributors.

Jones' biggest individual contributor has been land barren and former state conservation commissioner Riley Boykin Smith.

Candidate Doris Brown had raised about $500 for her mayoral campaign.

 

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