Third quarter brings more than $2 million into mayor's race

By Maggie Lee

Folks angling for the mayor’s office in this year’s election have came up with some $2.2 million in new dollars for the race — just in the three months to Sept. 30.

Atlanta mayoral candidates on stage for the arts forum Monday night. Credit: Maggie Lee

Atlanta mayoral candidates on stage for a September forum on the arts. File/Credit: Maggie Lee

That’s according to campaign finance disclosures just filed by the nine front-running candidates.

They started the race, and fundraising, at different times. But overall, the nine of them together have reported a total of raising more than $9 million in campaign cash.

It’s not all donations — some of the candidates are in part financing their own campaigns, via loans from themselves or their spouses.

Here’s a quick summary of where they stood as of Sept. 30.  One more round of reports are due at the beginning of November before the Nov. 7 election day.  It’s almost sure to go to a Dec. 5 runoff. But this is the last disclosure before early voting starts on Oct. 16.

  • Peter Aman, a former partner at Bain & Co. — who also spent two years as city COO — reported a pack-leading $2.16 million in total funds raised as of the end of September. Half of that is self-financed: he’s long made a point of saying he and his wife would match every dollar in campaign donations with one of their own dollars. In the three months to Sept. 30, he collected about $500,000: half from a loan in his wife’s name, and half donations from others.
  • City Council President Ceasar Mitchell reported total funds raised of $2.09 million as of Sept. 30. In the third quarter, he collected about $388,000 in campaign money. Of that, $150,000 was a loan from himself to his campaign.
  • City Councilwoman Mary Norwood reported collecting $1.34 million in total donations through Sept. 30. About $325,000 came in the third quarter.
  • City Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms had the best fundraising quarter. She reported collecting almost $520,000 in July, August and September, bringing her overall total to some $1.18 million. Part of that third quarter total is a $60,000 loan. Including that loan, her campaign has reported receiving a total $240,000 in loans over this year from Bottoms or her husband Derek Bottoms, some of which has been paid back.
  • Former City Council President Cathy Woolard just broke into the seven figures, having collected some $1.01 million through Sept. 30. Of that, about $176,000 was collected in the third quarter.
  • City Councilman Kwanza Hall reported about $617,000 in total contributions through Sept. 30, of which some $104,000 arrived in the third quarter.
  • Vincent Fort, until recently a state Senator, reported about $482,000 in total donations through Sept. 30. Just over $103,000 of that arrived in the third quarter. The vast majority of the quarter’s cash — about $84,000 — was in small donations, the contributions of $100 or less that are reported as a lump sum.
  • Michael Sterling, a former boss of the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, reported total contributions of roughly $228,000. Some $33,000 arrived in the third quarter.
  • John Eaves — until recently the chair of the Fulton County Commission — reported $205,147 in total donations through Sept. 30. Of that, about $67,000 came in the third quarter.

Maggie Lee is a freelance reporter who's been covering Georgia and metro Atlanta government and politics since 2008.

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