Both confirmed candidates running for the city-parish’s mayor-president seat had close to the same amount of money left in their campaign bank accounts at the end of 2015.
New campaign finance reports show that former state Sen. Sharon Weston Broome, a Democrat, and East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Councilman John Delgado, a Republican, each had close to $25,000 in their bank accounts by the end of December 2015. Broome had announced her mayoral candidacy in 2015, while Delgado didn’t announce until the beginning of this year.
Broome out-fundraised Delgado last year by more than $38,532 but also spent more. Their campaign accounts are on nearly even playing field as the two campaign to be mayor-president in a field of candidates that still has a handful of others floating their names.
Delgado said he expects to raise $1 million for his campaign, while Broome has previously said she expects to raise that much as well. Broome said Monday that she did not want to share specific fundraising goals.
Both candidates said they are meeting with potential voters as they start to build up their campaigns.
Broome has shared her vision for a united city-parish in which people rally around a common goal, while Delgado has championed a progressive approach for moving the city-parish into the future.
Though Broome has been a known mayoral candidate for many months and had two fundraising events in 2015, she said she only recently began aggressively fundraising. She said she previously was too busy campaigning for Gov. John Bel Edwards and working on his transition team.
“As soon as I put all of that to bed, I was able to start working more aggressively toward the fundraising,” Broome said. “The commitment has been very solid.”
Broome raised $60,882 in 2015 and had $24,657 on-hand at the end of the year.
Her donors last year included fellow state senators Regina Barrow ($100) and Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb ($100), both Democrats representing Baton Rouge; Celtic Media Centre ($1,000); deceased Metro Councilwoman Ronnie Edwards’ campaign ($100); Star Hill pastor Raymond Jetson ($100); the state’s black legislative caucus PAC ($1,000); businessman John Noland ($1,000); and Sheriff Sid Gautreaux’s campaign ($2,500).
Broome’s money was mostly spent on phone bills, supplies, food and beverages, design services, gas, postage and donations to a number of groups and organizations.
Delgado raised $22,350 during 2015 and had $25,890 on-hand at the end of the year. Delgado said the money he raised in 2015 was not specifically for his mayoral bid because he had not announced his intentions to run at that point.
Delgado did hold a campaign fundraiser in June 2015, but it was for a nebulous “2016 campaign.” He said at the time that he had not chosen between running again for Metro Council or pursuing the mayor’s seat.
It’s now clear that money raised last year will carry over into Delgado’s mayoral campaign account. His campaign held its first fundraising event in February 2016, which Delgado said nearly 200 people attended. He declined to specify how much money was raised at the event.
“There’s a lot of people that are reaching out to me, that are calling me and asking how they can contribute,” Delgado said. “It’s really overwhelming.”
Delgado’s 2015 contributors included attorney Franz Borghardt ($250); Library Board member Donald Luther ($250); consultant Christel Slaughter ($250); developer Tommy Spinosa ($250); developer Mike Wampold ($250); and former Library Board member Travis Woodard ($250).
Most of his expenses went toward campaign staffing and consulting services.
The next campaign finance filing deadlines for those running in the November elections will not come until May, 180 days before the general election.
Other Metro Council members also filed their 2015 campaign finance reports in February. Several council members donated to one another’s campaigns throughout the year.
Chandler Loupe gave $750 to former councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle’s successful legislative campaign, while Chauna Banks-Daniel donated $100 to councilwoman Donna Collins-Lewis’ campaign against Marcelle.
Buddy Amoroso donated $500 to councilman Ryan Heck’s legislative campaign.
Banks-Daniel donated $50 to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ gubernatorial campaign, while Joel Boé donated $1,000 to Scott Angelle’s campaign for governor. Boé bought flowers for $91.75 for former Councilwoman Ronnie Edwards when she was in the hospital. RonnieEdwards died last week.