Campaign finance reports show which candidate for Richmond mayor is winning the money race

Richmond

Tracey McLean, Justin Griffin, Alexsis Rodgers, Levar Stoney and Kim Gray (from left to right).

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Candidates in Richmond’s mayoral race filed campaign finance reports Tuesday, providing a peek into how much each campaign has raised, how they have spent their money, specific political donors and the cash they have on hand. The three leading candidates in a poll from July have easily outpaced the other two in the race, with the incumbent, Mayor Levar Stoney, raising more than the rest of the field combined.

The two candidates trailing Stoney in fundraising, 2nd District City Councilwoman Kim Gray and Alexsis Rodgers, Virginia state director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, have each raised over $200,000 since announcing plans to run for Richmond mayor.

An American Research Group poll of registered voters from July, when it was a seven-way race, found Stoney narrowly leading Gray 36 percent to 31 percent. Rodgers had 16 percent support and Justin Griffin, an attorney, got 11 percent support.

The new reports filed on Tuesday, which cover a two-month period from July 1 to Aug. 31, show the significant fundraising advantage that Stoney holds over his opponents. During the two-month period, the mayor raised more than $250,000 and his campaign spent nearly $193,000.

Stoney’s campaign paid Putnam Partners, a firm that produces advertisements for Democratic candidates, roughly $105,000 during the period. The majority of the mayor’s political contributions have gone towards staffing and ads, according to the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project.

Gray, who has raised a little more than $255,000, brought in about $162,000 in the last two months, the campaign finance report shows. A local realtor, William O’Connor, gave Gray $30,000 in the latest filing period, on top of the $5,000 he gave the councilwoman in June. Gray spent nearly $49,000 during the period, with close to $9,000 going towards signs and bumper stickers.

Rodgers, who served as Gov. Ralph Northam’s policy director when he was lieutenant governor, raised more than $122,000 in the latest filing period. She received 505 individual donations of $100 or less for nearly $19,500, more contributions under $100 than the other candidates combined, highlighting the grassroots campaign that Rodgers has touted.

Hedge fund manager Michael Bills and his wife, Sonjia Smith, have each contributed $25,000 to Rodgers’ campaign since July, for a total of $75,000 since Rodgers announced plans to run.

Griffin raised a little more than 5,700 in the filing period and has brought in nearly $25,000. According to VPAP, he has spent most of his campaign money on online ads and printing services from a Richmond-based graphic design company called Gillis Media Services. Tracey Mclean, an independent candidate and small business owner who has raised $382 according to VPAP, did not report any donations during the filing period.

Michael Gilbert, an economics professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, failed to garner much financial support and dropped out of the race.

The mayor has more than $232,000 on hand, compared to about $175,000 for Gray, nearly $149,000 for Rodgers and roughly $8,000 for Griffin.

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