East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Councilman Joel Boé is the top fundraiser among Metro Council members and their challengers who are running in the Nov. 6 primary election, according to the latest campaign finance reports filed with the Louisiana Ethics Administration.
Boé, a Republican, raised $38,420 in the most recent reporting period, spanning from Aug. 15 to Sept. 27, in his bid for re-election for District 9 councilman against businessman Ted Rush, also a Republican.
Rush did not submit a campaign finance report, but has said he will independently finance his campaign.
Most Metro Council candidates reported raising less than $10,000 in the month-and-half period. Boé was one of only three candidates to raise more than $30,000.
Boé said he’s been aggressively fundraising since last year to prepare for his re-election and will continue to raise funds for the duration of the race.
“The unfortunate part of running a campaign is that it takes money to be effective, and I didn’t want to take anything for granted,” Boé said. “But the response has been tremendous.”
Boé received significant support from construction-related businesses and companies like Performance Contractors — where he is employed — which contributed $2,000. Other contributors included Iberville Insulations, which gave $2,000; Grady Crawford Construction Company, which donated $1,500; and CH2M Hill, which contributed $1,500.
Other noteworthy donations came from FuturePAC, the political arm of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, which contributed $2,000; mayor-president candidate Steve Myers, who gave $250; and Business Report and 225 Publisher Rolfe McCollister, who made a $200 contribution.
Before the reporting period, Boé was already sitting on about $54,000. So despite spending $41,000, he still has about $52,000 in his campaign warchest — which is more than any Metro Council candidate has moving forward in the campaign.
Republican Ryan Heck, the unopposed winner of the District 11 race, raised the second-largest amount of campaign money with $37,335. And Republican John Delgado, who hopes to unseat District 12 incumbent Rodney “Smokie” Bourgeois, was close behind with contributions of $37,129.
Heck said he approached his inaugural political campaign like a business plan, seeking advice from other politicians and setting fundraising goals.
Among Heck’s donors were FuturePAC, which contributed $1,000, and $2,500 each from Cajun Industries’ Lane Grigsby, Todd Grigsby and Milton Graugnard.
Delgado reported raising nearly 10 times as much as Bourgeois in their race, which Delgado said is “indicative of the fact that people want change on the city council and particularly in my district.”
Bourgeois, a Republican, raised about $4,000. The third candidate in the race Rose Carey, a Democrat, raised no funds, but reported using $2,888 in personal funds.
Delgado’s warchest came from several contributions of $500 or under, many from fellow lawyers. Delgado also received a $250 donation from Myers.
Despite Delgado’s financial advantage, Bourgeois said he still feels he has the upperhand.
“I’m well-known, well-respected and well-liked,” Bourgeois said. “What more do you need?”
Some of the most well-financed races were unchallenged.
Councilman Scott Wilson, who drew no opposition in District 4, raised $26,300. Meanwhile, Buddy Amoroso, who ran uncontested for the District 8 seat — left vacant by term-limited Mike Walker — raised $19,220. And District 1 Councilman Trae Welch raised $17,400.
Welch initially drew an opponent, Twahna Harris, but she dropped from the race after Welch challenged the validity of her nominating petition.
Several candidates for Metro Council did not turn in their campaign finance reports, including several sitting council members.
Council members Tara Wicker, C. Denise Marcelle, Ronnie Edwards and Chandler Loupe as of Thursday had yet turned in campaign finance reports that were due to be filed on Tuesday. Edwards and Loupe are unopposed.
Wicker’s District 10 opponent Larry Selders raised about $4,000 during the reporting period.
Marcelle’s District 7 opponent Paul Brumfield also did not submit a report. The only District 7 candidate to turn in a report was Hazel Bradley, who raised $1,350 in contributions and loaned herself $5,500.
District 6 Councilwoman Donna Collins-Lewis raised $13,700. Her opponent Edwin “PaPo” Del Valle loaned himself about $2,200 but reported no donations. The other District 6 candidates William Roundtree and Carolyn “Gee” George did not submit reports.
In the open District 2 race, Chauna Banks-Daniel took the lead with $5,130 in donations. Leroy Davis raised $1,900 and Corey Alfred raised $1,700. Hillery Johnson raised $100 and Steven Cook raised no funds but loaned himself $1,500. James Slaughter Jr., Edward Roberts and Joseph Plummer did not submit reports.
The Metro Council candidates will face off in their respective races in the Nov. 6 primary. Runoff winners will be decided Dec. 8.