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Candidates for Lafayette Mayor-President Carlee Alm-LaBar and Josh Guillory, take part in the Kiwanis of Lafayette Candidate Forum at the Petroleum Club on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019 in Lafayette, La.

Political newcomer Carlee Alm-LaBar, as late as Oct. 4, continued to raise more money for her campaign for Lafayette mayor-president than her four opponents.

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Candidates seeking the office of Mayor-President of Lafayette, from left, Nancy Marcotte, Carlos Harvin, Josh Guillory, Simone Champagne and Carlee Alm-LaBar, participated in a forum on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, hosted by Downtown Lafayette.

Alm-LaBar of Lafayette is the only no-party candidate in the five-person race. She faces three Republicans, Simone Champagne of Youngsville, and Josh Guillory and Nancy Marcotte, both of Lafayette, and one Democrat, Carlos Harvin of Lafayette.

Harvin and Marcotte also are first-time candidates. Champagne was a state legislator for Iberia and Vermilion parishes until she resigned to move to Youngsville and work as chief administrative officer for that city. Guillory ran unsuccessfully in 2018 against U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins, a Republican.

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The election for mayor-president is Saturday. Political scientists believe a run-off is likely with five candidates in the race. One candidate would need to receive 50 percent of the votes plus one vote to win without a run-off.

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While funding is not always a predictor of the winner, Alm-LaBar has led in fundraising from the start. She was first to announce her candidacy even before her former boss, Mayor-President Joel Robideaux, said in April he would not seek a second term, and began fundraising months before the other candidates entered the race.

Campaign finance reports filed with the Louisiana Ethics Administration between Sept. 3 and Oct. 3 show Alm-LaBar brought in more than $122,000 in cash contributions. As of Sept. 22, she had $131,431 in cash on hand to spend in the final few weeks of the campaign.

Champagne, by comparison, raised $33,750 in cash contributions since Sept. 3, campaign finance reports show. As of Sept. 22, she had $33,877 on hand heading into election day. 

Guillory trails Alm-LaBar and Champagne, taking in only $14,970 in cash between Sept. 3 and Oct. 4, according to his campaign finance reports. A report filed Oct. 2 shows he had $13,391 on hand with 10 days left in the campaign.

Between Sept. 3 and Oct. 4, Marcotte raised $4,350 in cash for her campaign, according to her campaign finance reports. She headed into the final eight days of the campaign with $33,137 because of a cash balance going into the Sept. 3 reporting period.

Harvin filed an affidavit saying he did not raise enough money to meet the minimum requiring a detailed campaign finance report.

Alm-LaBar outpaces other mayor-president candidates in fundraising

The latest campaign reports show the candidates in much the same fundraising position as they were in when they filed a 30-day report Sept. 2.

Between March 3 and Sept. 2, Alm-LaBar reported $270,480 in cash donations, well ahead of the others. From May 30-Sept. 2, Champagne reported $44,150 in contributions. Guillory reported $41,047 in cash donations between April 18 and Aug. 31. Marcotte reported $41,080 in cash donations between May 11 and Sept. 11.

Marcotte says business experience qualifies her for Lafayette mayor-president

Harvin says he was called to ministry, called to run for mayor-president

Josh Guillory says he can provide leadership, decision-making as Lafayette mayor-president

Simone Champagne says experience as legislator, Youngsville CAO make her most qualified for mayor-president

Alm-LaBar says experience with LCG makes her best candidate for mayor-president

Email Claire Taylor at ctaylor@theadvocate.com.