MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - With a little more than five months to go until the Montgomery Mayoral election, candidates are ramping up fundraising efforts. The most recent campaign finance reports show an early lead for Artur Davis, but it's the source of his biggest contribution that some say is the most surprising.
The contribution in question is from Artur Davis himself, actually two separate personal loans to his own campaign. One was made on January 15 for $2500 and another on January 23 for $400,625.
After spending more than $90,000 since January, mostly on consulting, advertising, and staff, he has just over $328,000 on hand. While he's picked up several small donations, the majority of his campaign, for now, is self-financed. Davis commented on this in a statement.
"Serious campaigns cost serious money, and I made the decision to spend personal savings on this campaign. If it means that Montgomery will have a mayor who does not owe his election to the most powerful business interests in the city, I think that is a good thing."
Right now, incumbent mayor Todd Strange has just over $108,000 on hand. Some of his biggest contributors in February were well known
real estate developers and business owners in town. He has not reported a loan from himself. Strange says his first organized fundraising event won't be until sometime in early April and he hasn't yet officially solicited any donations. He says he isn't concerned about fundraising totals this early in the race.
The mayor said by phone that he'll let his track record speak for itself. He said while he enjoys both large and small donations, he makes his decisions as mayor based on what's best for the city. He went on to say that, as current mayor, that's where his focus will remain, but we'll see him more vigorously campaign closer to election day.
As for the other mayoral candidates in Montgomery, Dan Harris has raised just under $2500 according to the latest campaign finance reports. Montgomery County Election officials say candidate Ella Bell has not yet filed a campaign finance report. The next report is due at the end of the March.
The election for Montgomery's mayor is Tuesday, August 25.