Former Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan Jr. has raised about $22,500 in campaign contributions, more than doubling the amount raised by any of his three competitors in his quest for the new mayoral position.
There are contested city races in Gainesville, Flowery Branch and Clermont, but no one has raised as much money as Dunagan. His competitors for mayor of Gainesville include Rose Johnson, who has raised $7,800; Charles Alvarez, with $5,299; and Debra Harkrider, who decided not to raise money.
This is the last filing before Tuesday’s election.
October disclosure reports show Dunagan raised $7,850 from Sept. 30 through Oct. 25, with $4,750 raised in amounts greater than $100 and $3,100 in sums of $100 or less.
Candidates can disclose contributions of $100 or less as a lump sum. Contributors of more than $100 must be identified on disclosure reports.
Dunagan has spent $9,826, leaving about $12,600 on hand.
The races in the other two, much smaller cities, haven’t matched the kind of money flowing in Gainesville. Flowery Branch hopefuls for mayor and city council have mostly loaned money to their campaigns or raised nothing.
October disclosure reports for the five contenders vying for seats on the Clermont City Council were either not available online or showed no donations or expenses.
This is the first year that Gainesville voters will directly elect a mayor. The job had been rotated among sitting City Council members for two-year stints. The new post, set up with voter approval in a 2009 referendum, carries a four-year term and the spotlight of being the first person to assume the office.
Dunagan raised nearly $39,000 in his successful campaign for city council in 2006 when he defeated former Hall County Commissioner Ashley Bell for the Ward 1 seat.
His expenses in October included $3,350 for media advertising. He also bought about $1,250 in signs and about $1,400 worth of food for a fundraiser.
Some influential Hall County residents have given to Dunagan’s campaign, including $500 from Robert Fowler Sr., $200 from Al and Ann Gainey and $200 from Hall County Commissioner Scott Gibbs. The Committee to Elect Rep. Carl Rogers, R-Gainesville, gave him $250.
Bell contributed $250 in October to Johnson’s campaign. She also got $500 in October from residents Bill Chandler and Ludin DeAza Medina. She spent almost $2,000 last month on campaign materials, including signs, printing and color copies.
Alvarez received a $500 donation from Carriage Nissan last month. Alvarez raised $1,841 in October and spent $1,457 to pay off deferred expenses, ending with a balance of $384.
He also accepted a $240 contribution from Rudy Bacerra, vice president of Latin Affairs for Coca-Cola. He paid $500 to Hispanic station 101.9 in Dalton and $900 to Sign Shack for marketing expenses.
Harkrider loaned her campaign $500, which she spent on lawn signs and banners. She has also said she will not take a salary as mayor.
The mayor’s post and two city council seats are also up for grabs in Flowery Branch next week.
Incumbent Mayor Mike Miller loaned himself $824 in cash contributions and raised $200 in donations.
Challenger Shanon Lutz reported previous cash contributions of $483 and $78 as an in-kind donation. A donation of $200 was made to the Lutz campaign by Sammy Brown, a Flowery Branch pharmacist, and Lutz loaned herself $401.
Post 5 Councilwoman Tara Richards’ report shows she has received $750 in cash contributions of under $100 each, and $200 as a personal in-kind loan.
Richard’s challenger, Chris Fetterman, detailed no cash contributions, and campaign expenditures of $530.
Fred Richards, councilman for Post 3, loaned himself $500 as an in-kind contribution. Post 3 challenger Ed Edwards also loaned himself $844..
Post 4 council incumbent Joe Anglin is running unopposed.