Incumbent’s totals double that of Walker
Mayor-President Kip Holden raised $172,625 between May 1 and July 29, more than twice the amount raised in the same period by his most well-financed opponent, Councilman Mike Walker, according to reports filed Wednesday with the Louisiana Ethics Commission.
Walker raised $68,685 during the reporting period.
Since January 1, Holden, a Democrat, has raised $351,140 and Walker, a Republican, has raised $195,990.
Walker’s team noted that while Holden hold a financial advantage, Walker’s individual donations outnumber Holden’s donors by more than 4-to-1. They say that demonstrates more widespread, grassroots support for Walker.
“We’re not dissuaded in anyway,” said Mike Smith, campaign adviser for Walker. “Frankly we’re a little amazed that the mayor is not further ahead after being incumbent for eight years.”
Holden had about 100 donations in the last reporting period, for an average of about $1,700 each, while Walker had 470 donations averaging about $170.
Rannah Gray, campaign adviser for Holden, said she would put “Mayor Holden’s grassroots support up against anyone,” noting that some of Walker’s small donations come from his campaign charging people to attend campaign events.
“We have those same type of gatherings, where people can meet the mayor,” Gray said. “But we don’t charge people to attend.”
Smith said the “small-dollar events” are part of their overall fundraising strategy to attract large, small and medium-sized donations.
Holden, who officially announced in June that he would seek re-election for his third and final term, has $335,928 in cash on hand. He spent $41,675 in the most recent reporting period.
Walker had $121,401 in cash on hand, and had spent $117,382 during.
Businessman John Conroy, a Republican who dropped out of the race earlier this month due to lack of funding, had raised $38,260 between May and July.
Cajun Industries founder Lane Grigsby, his son Todd Grigsby and Milton Graugnard, Cajun Industries executive vice president, each provided $5,000 to Conroy’s campaign.
Lane Grigsby, who is frequently involved in political campaigns, said he had not vetted Conroy properly before getting involved with his campaign. Grigsby said he supports Walker, but thought boosting Conroy’s profile would ensure a December run-off election between Walker and Holden, which he believed would ultimately help Walker win.
Gordon Mese, owner of the Garden District Nursery on Government Street, raised no funds — as he has promised he will not accept donations — but spent $1,182 of his own money to buy promotional T-shirts.
He has said that he is running as an independent candidate.
Walker spent $22,500 for polling, about $2,500 for radio spots and more than $13,000 for signs.
Walker’s team has put out 300 big signs and about 1,000 small signs.
Gray said more Holden signs will be put out closer to election.
“We have a plan for his signs to come out. We don’t put signs in right of ways or any place that we don’t have permission on property,” Gray said, referring to Walker’s signs, many of which can be seen on empty lots.
Smith said Walker’s campaign team sought permission for every sign placed across the parish.
Holden’s expenditures for the reporting period included $2,000 for legal fees to Gray Sexton for an ethics investigation that ultimately was ruled in his favor, $5,000 to Lamar Advertising for billboards, $5,140 for LSU season tickets and parking, and about $9,000 for signs, stickers and other campaign materials.
Contributions over $500 for most recent reporting period:
$3,000: Starmount Life Insurance Co.
$2,750: Cableworks, Inc
$2,500: Sullivan Commercial Properties LLC, Alton E. Ashy, Tango Transport
$2,000: I. William Sizeler
$1,500: Accuscreen Systems, West Chimes Place
$1,200: Ron Duplessis
$1,000: G. Wayne Sledge, John M. Burdine MD., Gayle G. Landry, Willard M. Easley, Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, Benoit & Associates, Nationwide Marketing, Butler Snow Political Action Committee, Richard D. Leibowitz
$750: Alvarez Construction Co., Peggy Vidrine, Paul A. Carroll
$500: Ben P. Ragusa, Jr., Pegan Grove Lakeshore, Inc., Z. David Deloach, R. Robert Rackley, Landco Construction Services, The Ethos Group, Best Regards, Sheila M. Brumfield, Sunny Smiles Photography, Dan Jumonville, Duplessis Buick GMC
$500: Thomas J. Adamek, Carpenters Local Union No. 1098, Harold J. Chambers Jr., Gordon Leblanc Jr., Parms Construction LLC, Star Service Inc., Randall W. Womack
$1,000: American Traffic Solutions Inc., David J. Bacci, Baker Ready Mix Inc., BFM Corporation LLC, Cecil J. Blache, Thomas A Butler, C.H. Fenstermaker and Associates Inc., Capitol Partners, Blaise Dupuis, ETEC Services Inc., Gibson Engineering Inc., Global Parking Systems LLC, Gotech Inc., Leighton Guilbeau, Richard Harbison, Richard Henke, John C. Doiron MAI, John H. Fetzer III, Eric M. Kamerath, KB-PAC Inc., Theresa M. Leblanc, Daniel J. Lennie, David A. Pierce, Post Architects, Professional Service Industries Inc., Kevin P. Reilly Jr., Sean E. Reilly, Richard C. Lambert Consultants LLC, Dianne Roger, Shows Cali Berthelot and Walsh LLP, The Cottonport Bank, Three Fold Consultants LLC, Francis Owen Tomeny, Turner Industries Group, Gil B. Zaunbrecher, Richard E. Zuschlag
$1,200: Buchart Horn Inc.
$1,250: Christopher Pellegrin, Curtis D. Soderberg, Michael Songy
$1,500: CDM, Sigma Consulting Group Inc.
$2,000: Iron Stone LLC, Breazeale Sachse and Wilson LLP, Manchac Consulting Group Inc, Moving Louisiana Forward Inc., Neel-Schaffer, Triage Holdings Inc.
$2,250: Ronald J. Rodi
$2,500: Acadian Ambulance Service, Acadian Ambulance Employee PAC Inc., Costal Process LLC, H. Davis Cole and Associates LLC, Mapp Construction LLC, Republic Services Inc., Shread-Kuyrkendall and Associates Inc., SSA Consultants LLC
$3,000: Mrs. Claude Leach Jr., JHJ Inc DBA Piggly Wiggly
$3,500: Digital Engineering and Imaging Inc., Hartman Engineering Inc.
$4,000: Michael G. Bruce
$4,500: Coleman Partners Architects LLC., Claude Leach Jr.
$5,000: ASB Computer Service, Bash Indistries LLC, Lodwrick M. Cook, Sue A. Cox, Guaranty Automotive Acceptance, Long Properties LLC, Mercedez-Benz of Baton Rouge, Rawlston D Phillips Jr., Premiere Company, Richfield Plantation, Southern Recycling
$9,000: AT&T Louisiana PAC
$5,000: Robbie Breaux, Tim Furnish, Milton Graugnard, Lane Grigsby, Tim Grigsby, Ken Jacob, Michael Moran
$1,000: John Conroy, Russell Pool Company
$500: Lorin Crenshaw,