West side council seat generates heaviest campaign contributions

The two candidates running for a seat on the Columbus City Council to represent the west side have collected far more campaign contributions than the total raised in any other contest on Tuesday’s ballot.

Democratic challenger Elaine Wagner collected $19,003 during the April 11 through Oct. 9 reporting period, three times more than the $6,309 raised by Republican incumbent Ryan Brand.

During that same period, Wagner reported spending $20,372 to Brand’s $6,558.

When combined, that’s $26,930, or $4.10 for each registered voter eligible to cast ballots in that race.

At least $4,000 of Wagner’s funds came from immediate family members, while $4,851 was raised during four late-summer fundraising events, the report states.

Among individual contributors, two donated $500 each to Wagner’s campaign: David E. Glass II of Columbus and Jason Sun of San Jose, California, the report states. Steve and Cindy Chapman of Columbus also donated $500 to Wagner’s campaign.

Brand’s largest donations were $150, which David McKinney and Kenny Glass Inc. both made.

In the other district council race, District 2 covering the city’s east side, far less money was raised and spent.

Incumbent Republican Dascal Bunch received contributions of $679 during the period. Democratic challenger Chris Rutan collected $320.

Bunch reported $379 during the period to Rutan’s $617. Combined, District 1 spending amounted to about 20 cents per eligible voter.

Democratic challenger Tom Dell led fundraising among the three candidates seeking two at-large seats on the city council.

Dell received $5,410 in contributions during the period, more than twice as much as the other challenger in the race, Republican Laurie Booher, who collected $2,407. Incumbent Republican Kenny Whipker reported collecting no money during the period.

Dell’s donations include $1,500 from his business, as well as $500 each from Dell’s wife, the Democratic Ladies League and Mary Silverburg of West Chester, Ohio.

Booher contributed $350 to her own campaign. Her filings also show 10 individual donations of $100 from supporters.

Dell spent $4,167, compared to $2,320 by Booher and nothing by Whipker.

Since all registered voters across the city are eligible to vote for at-large candidates, the three candidates’ combined spending was about two cents per person.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.