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Alexander, Sheffield lead city council fundraising

With about a month until election day, two Salisbury City Council candidates are far outpacing their competition in fundraising.

Architect Karen Alexander and businesswoman Tamara Sheffield have raised nearly twice as much as the next highest candidate. Campaign finance reports submitted this week show Alexander with $9,645 raised to date. Sheffield’s fundraising total is $9,821 during the city council campaign.

Alexander, however, raised the most during the designated reporting period. Sheffield raised the largest percentage of her money during the days immediately following the filing period.

The dropoff is steep for third place in fundraising. Consultant and community activist Kenny Hardin is third for the entire campaign season to date. Banker Mark Lewis, however, placed third in fundraising for the reporting period. For the entire campaign, Lewis is fourth.

Banker Brian Miller rounds out the top five in city council candidate fundraising at $3,815 over the course of the entire campaign.

Numbers for architect Bill Burgin and current Mayor Paul Woodson are also notable. Neither are candidates in 2015. Both, however, have chipped in significant sums to multiple campaigns.

Burgin’s campaign committee is currently declared inactive — he will be required to reactivate it following his contributions — and the exact total he had available to spend is unclear. Before filing started, Woodson had more than $5,000 in his campaign committee.

Woodson was a bit more thrifty than Burgin in his donations. Woodson split a total of $375 among Roy Bentley, Alexander, Lewis, Scott Maddox, Brian Miller and Maggie Blackwell.

Burgin spent a total of $1,050 among Alexander, Lewis, Maddox, Miller and Blackwell.

Though it was among the highest totals, a few donors eclipsed Burgin’s combined contribution amount. Below is a brief summary of candidates’ campaign finance reports for the 35-day reporting period.

Candidates Stephen Arthur and Troy Russell had not turned in reports by Thursday. Candidate William Peoples hasn’t yet crossed the threshold necessary to file reports.

Karen Alexander

Alexander is the top fundraiser for the 35-day reporting period. She is also the second-highest fundraiser among all Salisbury City council candidates with $9,645 raised.

Her notable contributions included: $750 from local attorney James Davis, $500 from philanthropist Fred Stanback, $500 from local businessman Greg Alcorn, $200 from Burgin and $100 from Woodson.

Roy Bentley

Bentley raised a total of $2,823 during the 35-day reporting period and spent a large portion — $2,510.94 — of his money.

Bentley’s notable contributions include: a total of $1,154.26 from David Shelby, $300 from local developer Victor Wallace and $50 from Woodson.

Maggie Blackwell

Blackwell raised a total of $3,330.28 during the 35-day reporting period.

Her significant contributions include: $100 from banker Paul Fisher, $100 from Woodson and $100 from Burgin.

She also received a loan from Joseph Blackwell that totaled more than $600.

Kenny Hardin

Hardin received a total of $3,013.30 during the 35-day reporting period and $5,378 during the entire campaign period.

Hardin’s notable contributions include: $100 from Livingstone College President Jimmy Jenkins and $200 from local artist Whitney Peckman, who helped organize a council candidate forum last week.

Constance Johnson

Johnson has raised a total of $1,327 during the 35-day election period.

Almost the entire amount of her contributions came from an in-kind contribution of backpacks from herself.

Rip Kersey

Kersey raised a total of $680 during the 35-day reporting period.

His significant contributions include $100 from Food Lion Co-founder Ralph Ketner and $250 from Dwight Messinger, president of Power Curbers.

Mark Lewis

Lewis raised a total of $4,140 during the 35-day reporting period.

His notable contributions include: $100 from 2014 county commissioner candidate Raymond Coltrain, $125 from School Board Member Richard Miller, $500 from Burgin and $50 from Woodson.

Scott Maddox

Maddox raised a total of $1,098 during the 35-day reporting period.

Two of his notable contributions include $25 from Woodson and $50 from Burgin.

Brian Miller

Miller raised a total of $3,815 during the 35-day reporting period.

His significant contributions included: $75 from Fisher, $50 from Woodson, $100 from Stanback, $200 from Ed Norvell and $200 from Burgin.

Miller has loaned his campaign $1,000.

Todd Paris

Paris’ notable contributions include: $500 from 2014 county commissioner candidate Rick Locklear and a combined $2,000 from Claude and Carolyn Paris.

David Post

Post is not taking contributions to his campaign committee in his bid for city council. Instead, Post has loaned his campaign $5,000.

Tamara Sheffield

Sheffield received $4,705 during the 35-day reporting period and $9,821 over the entire campaign.

Her notable contributions include $300 from Salisbury resident Rachel Bernheim and $1,000 from Salisbury Businessman Greg Alcorn.

Jeff Watkins

Watkins has raised a total of $557.19 during the 35-day reporting period.

His largest contribution was $150 from Sebrina Houston of Bowie, Md.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

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