Friday, June 23, 2023

Who's got the money in the race for mayor and where did it come from.

Jim Gringrich's self-funded campaign has over a $2 million war chest. 

Update by Rod Williams, June 23, 2023- I have looked at each first quarter financial report of the candidates for mayor. By far and away, Jim Gringrich has the biggest war chest, with over $2 million on hand. Most of that is his own money. He loaned his campaign $2 million.

I think we can say that the candidates with a chance of making the runoff are Jim Gringrich, Matt Wiltshire, Freddie O'Connell, Alice Rolli, Jeff Yarbro and Heidi Campbell. That is seven out of the twelve. 

Despite Heidi Campbell raising no money, I am putting her in this group due to her name recognition and that Chip Forrester is her campaign manager and she has the potential to raise a lot of money quickly. It appears she comes from a family with money and could probably family and self-finance. Also, serving as mayor of Oak Hill and State Senator, and having recently been the Democratic nominee for the 5th Congressional District she has more name recognition than any of the other candidates. 

Sharon Hurt perhaps should be considered a serious candidate, but I just don't feel it. Being an at-large Council Member, she has won a county wide race.  There are three other Black candidates in the race, however, who will split the Black vote. I am surprised that Vivian Wilhoit has not filed a campaign finance report. However, she has won a county-wide race and has name recognition so she will get some votes.  Also, Fran Bush was a notable member of the school board and has run county-wide. With Hurt's modest war chest of $97,000 and with the Black vote being between several ways, I do not see Hurt making the runoff.

I have included Alice Rolli in the list of serious contenders. I am supporting her so maybe it is wishful thinking on my part. I would be more hopeful if she had more financial support. 

When I started this analysis of campaign financial reports, I was examining the contributor list to see who was supporting which candidates. That is a time-consuming process and for now, I am putting that on hold. I plan to get back to that soon, so look for an update. 

 by Rod Williams, June 21, 2023- We are not that far from elections for mayor and Metro Council.

Early voting starts July 14th. 

Maybe, it is just me, but it seems that this campaign season has been kind of boring. I do not feel a lot of excitement. It seems like the election is slipping up on us. I have not seen that many campaign signs and have not as of yet received that many mailings, or text messages, or emails from candidates and have only seen a few commercials. Frankly, it is hard to tell the candidates apart. All seem to be playing it safe and no one seems to be offering a bold vision or much of an agenda. 

You can tell who a serious candidate by seeing how much money a candidate has raised and spend. It takes money to run for mayor. Also, sometimes you can tell a lot about a candidate by looking at who is supporting him financially. That can recommend a candidate or not support him.

I have reviewed each of the candidate's campaign financial disclosure forms for the year end 2022 report and the 2023 first quarter report. Below, I have listed the campaign contributions that I found of interest for each of the candidates. 

I obviously don't know who all of the movers and shakers and important people are in town, so if you are knowledgeable about who's who in Nashville, you may want to look at the reports for yourself. You can find all of the reports at this link. If you do review the campaign reports and find something of interest, please share. Below is what I found on each of the candidates, that I found of interest.

Natisha Brooks
  • Total raised this quarter: $63,558
  • Total loans outstanding: $30,000.  Loan was from the candidate, herself.
  • Balance on hand: $59,905
Who contributed to her campaign: Natisha Brooks contributed $15,000 to her own campaign, 

Fran Bush
  • Total raised this quarter: $1,700
  • Total loans outstanding: $0.  Loan was from the candidate, herself.
  • Balance on hand: $2,510
Who contributed to her campaign: Only one itemized contribution and it was for $500.

Heidi Campbell: She has not filed a financial report for the first quarter. She did not appoint a treasure until April 4, 2023. I am surprised. As the Mayor of Oak Hill, a State Senator and a long resume, I assume she is a serious candidate. Her treasure is Chip Forrester,  

Bernie Cox: No First Quarter Report filed. He filed a 2022 year end report showing no money raised or spent. He has appointed a treasurer. 

Jim Gingrich
  • Amount Raised this quarter: $2,163,094
  • Loans outstanding: $2,000,000. Loan from the candidate himself.
  • Balance on hand: $2,035,078
Who contributed to his campaign: Check back for an update.

Sharon Hurt
  • Amount Raised this quarter: $114,839
  • Loans outstanding: 0
  • Balance on hand: $97,016
Who contributed to her campaign: Check back for an update. 

Stephanie Johnson 
  • Amount Raised this quarter: $0
  • Loans outstanding: 0
  • Balance on hand: $100
Freddie O'Connell

  • Amount Raised this quarter: $113,958. 
  • Loans outstanding: 0
  • Balance on hand: $299,045.

Who contributed to his campaign: Former Mayor Megan Barry contributed $400; Former Mayor David Briley contributed $250; Charles Bone, $1600.  

Mark Deutchman of Village Real Estate Services donated $1000; several contributions of $1500 from people who work for the Roers Company of Plymouth, MN;  Ned Horton Chairman of the Fair Board, contributed $250; Rich Reibling, $500: Waller Landen PAC, $3500; John Ingram, $1000: Gresham Smith PAC, $2000: Ragan Smith PAC, $500; Hilton Nashville Downtown, $1,000. Derick Bell of Bell Construction $1,000. 

He received $7500 from the A Better Tomorrow PAC, and that PAC received $7500 from Uptown Property Holding, LLC of San Diego, CA. Uptown Property Holding, LLC is the company developing Nashville Yards and has a lot of other properties in Nashville.  

Four students by the last name of Tyler who all live at the same address in Brentwood gave $1600 each, David Fox contributed $500, but that is not the David Fox who is the former mayoral candidate who is supporting Alice Rollie in this election; it is a different David Fox.  He also received contributions from a lot of lawyers and several $1800 contributions from Family members, and several contributions from people who work in Constructiion, development, or real estate. 

Allice Rolli

  • Amount Raised this quarter: $208,765
  • Total Loans outstanding: $144,275
  • Balance on hand: $197,482

Who contributed to her campaign: 
Orrin Ingram of Ingram Industries, $1.800, and John Ingram $1,000; JCB PAC, $2500; Former Chair of the Tennessee Republican Party Tom Beasley, $1,800; former mayoral candidate David Fox, $1,000.

Vivian Wilhoit: No report on file.

Matthew Wiltshire
  • Total raised this quarter; $515,875
  • Total loans outstanding, $384,904
  • Balance on hand: $1,409,771
Who contributed to his campaign: 
He received a $2500 contribution from A Better Tomorrow PAC. Uptown Property Holding, LLC of San Diego, CA notated $7500 to this PAC. The PAC also contributed $7500 to Freddie O'Connell. 

H. G. Hill Realty PAC donated $9400.

Charles Bone a former candidate for mayor donated $1800. Notice that Charles Bone also contributed to Freddie O'Connell's campaign. Former Mayor Karl Dean donated $1800. Hal Cato former CEO of Thistle Farms, who considered a run for mayor, but did not run, donated $750. Former Council Member and candidate for Council Davette Blalock donated $45. Council Member Tanaka Vercher donated $200.

John Ingram of Ingram Industires donated $1,000. Notice he also contributed to other candidates campaigns.  Gerald Nicely, Executive Director of Nashville’s Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency from 1979-2002, and Transportation Secretary under Governor Phil Bredisen donated $1,000. Ned Horton, who also contributed to other campaigns, donated $200. Rich Reibling donated $1800. Eddie Latimer of Affordable Housing Resources donated $355.08.  Bobby Joslin of Joslin Sign Company donated $1800.

He received lots of contributions from attorneys, people who work in the field of real estate, consultants, people who work in property management. developers, and people who work in finance.

Jeff Yarbro
  • Amount Raised this quarter: $327,849
  • Total Loans outstanding: $50,000
  • Balance on hand: $329,689
Who contributed to his campaign: Check back for an update.

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