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City Council campaign finance reports released; Wade raises over $55k

The Virginia Department of Elections has released its first campaign finance reports for candidates running for Charlottesville City Council. The reports cover Jan. 1 through March 31.

The two seats in the race are currently held by councilor Heather Hill, a Democrat, who is not running for re-election, and Mayor Nikuyah Walker, an independent, who said last year that she would run for re-election but has not spoken publicly on it since.

The Department of Elections did not publish any data for Walker’s campaign for this election cycle.

Juandiego Wade, a Democrat and current Charlottesville School Board member, has raised over $55,000, the most of any candidate. Wade received a total of 157 contributions, 77 of which were $100 or more, 80 of which were under $800. His top donors were Seminole Trail Properties, LLC, which donated $5,000, and Sonjia Smith, an Albemarle County resident and longtime donor to area Democratic candidates, who also contributed $5,000. Wade’s campaign has $41,650 cash on hand.

Wade’s campaign has spent almost $14,000 so far. The top expenditures covered the salary of Lakshmi Chandran, Wade’s campaign manager, as well as consulting fees paid to Asher Smith, a local political consultant.

Democratic candidate Brian Pinkston, a project manager at the University of Virginia, raised just over $40,500 between Feb. 7 and March 31. Pinkston received a total of 106 contributions, 53 under $100 and 53 over $100. Top donors include Seminole Trail Properties, LLC, which donated $5,000, and Local Jurisdiction Consulting, LLC, a progressive campaign consulting company, which contributed $4,125. Pinkston also received a contribution of $3,560 from Alex Bryant, manager of the Charlottesville Tom Tom Foundation. The campaign has $32,065 cash on hand.

Pinkston’s campaign has spent just over $8,500. The itemized expenditures listed on the Department of Elections report for Pinkston lists processing fees for ActBlue, a nonprofit that processes online fundraising for Democratic candidates. The report also says that Pinkston has spent $7,685 in in-kind expenses, but those are not listed.

Pinkston previously ran unsuccessfully for City Council in 2019. Pinkston raised around $23,700 during his 2019 campaign, giving his 2021 campaign a significant leg up.

According to the report from the Department of Elections, Democrat Carl E. Brown, a consultant and nonprofit manager, has not raised or spent any money and has $25 cash on hand.

There is no report available for Yas Washington, a local entrepreneur who is running as an independent after she didn’t collect enough signatures to compete for the Democratic nomination.

There are no GOP candidates running for City Council this cycle.


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