Candidates running for Charlottesville City Council raised $35,000 last month as their campaigns entered the home stretch, according to campaign finance reports.
Brian Pinkston, a Democrat, continued to lead the council candidates in fundraising, bringing in $20,589.45 from Sept. 1 to Sept. 30. Pinkston has $14,399.59 on hand, according to the report filed Oct. 15 with the Virginia Department of Elections.
Fellow Democratic nominee Juandiego Wade raised $14,636.50 with $15,201.24 on hand. Independent challenger Yas Washington raised $100 this period with no cash on hand.
There are two seats on the Charlottesville City Council on the ballot this election cycle. The field of candidates narrowed early last month after Mayor Nikuyah Walker withdrew from the election. Walker raised no money last month before dropping out Sept. 8 and ended her campaign with $90.40 on hand, according to the report.
None of the three Albemarle County Board of Supervisors races is contested this year, but that hasn’t stopped the candidates from raising money. Jim Andrews, who is seeking to represent the Samuel Miller district, has $21,774.21 on hand after raising the bulk of his money in the spring when he announced his campaign. Campaign finance reports show that most of the money is being spent on consultants, canvassing and campaign costs.
Meanwhile, board chairman Ned Gallaway has $14,809.40 on hand. He hasn’t raised any additional money since bringing in $10,150 in the spring. Gallaway represents the Rio District on the Board of Supervisors.
Diantha McKeel, who represents the Jack Jouett district, has raised $18,777.99 this year and has $28,559.05 on hand. Her fundraising has slowed in recent months, and McKeel didn’t bring any money during the last reporting period.
Candidates will have to file another campaign finance report by Oct. 25, which will be the last report released before Election Day on Nov. 2. The Oct. 25 report will cover donations and expenses from Oct. 1 to Oct. 21.
In September, Wade and Pinkston received $4,500 and $2,500 respectively from the Realtors Political Action Committee of Virginia. Both candidates received contributions of $500 from the Monticello Business Alliance PAC.
Wade received three contributions of $1,000 from University of Virginia professor Bill Petri, Canvasback Real Estate owner William Nitchmann and developer Keith Woodard.
Pinkston also received $1,000 from Woodard, as well as $1,000 from the Blue Ridge Home Builders Association. Pinkston received a $50 contribution from current city councilor Lloyd Snook.
Albemarle County School Board
In the last month, board chairman Graham Paige gained ground on challenger Randy Zackrisson, raising $5,984 — the most money he has brought in this election cycle. He has $7,705.69 on hand to spend.
Zackrisson, who is running a write-in campaign to unseat Paige as the Samuel Miller district representative, raised $5,587.72 in the last month, bringing his campaign’s fund balance to $12,474.66. Paige, a retired teacher, has served on the School Board since 2015.
None of three School Board incumbents up for election this year is facing challengers on the ballot. School board races in Virginia are nonpartisan.
Sonja Smith, a major Democratic donor, donated $1,500 to Paige’s campaign while current board member Katrina Callsen contributed $350. Overall, 13 different people gave more than $100 while 22 people contributed less than $100, according to the report.
Most of the identified donors for Paige and Zackrisson are from the Charlottesville area. Zackrisson also received support from the Fifth Congressional District Republican Committee, which gave $500.
Overall, 13 people or organizations contributed more than $100 while Zackrisson’s campaign received 26 donations less than $100.
Paige didn’t spend any money in the last month. Zackrisson paid local radio host Rob Schilling $1,925 for consulting services, which made up the bulk of his campaign’s spending.
Kate Acuff, who is seeking another term on the county School Board, didn’t raise anything and has $1,411 on hand. Katrina Callsen, who is also running for re-election, continued to not raise any money and has $138.62.
Charlottesville School Board
Among the five candidates seeking a spot on the Charlottesville School Board, Emily Dooley raised the most money during the month of September. Dooley, a real estate agent and former teacher, brought in $2,375 and has $10,584.20 on hand. Similar to the previous reporting period, several of Dooley’s donors who contributed more than $100 are from outside the Charlottesville area, according to her report.
Three seats on the Charlottesville board are on the ballot this election cycle.
Albemarle Educator Dom Morse raised $1,783.35, the second-highest total, and has $3,606.07 on hand. Leah Puryear, a longtime board member seeking reelection to her fifth term, brought in $1,375 last month — the first reporting period this election cycle in which she raised any money.
Christa Bennett, chief operating officer of Strive for College, has $2,024.12 on hand after raising $60 last month. Board chairwoman Lisa Larson-Torres raised $50 and has $2,295.61 on hand.
Most candidates have spent money on yard signs and fees related to donations with Morse spending the most — $2,718.90 — on promotional materials.