September 8, 2011

Mayoral Candidates Battle For Fundraising Advantage

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Correction appended

With less than four days until the Democratic primary, Ithaca mayoral candidates J.R. Clairborne (D – 2nd Ward), Pam Mackesey ’89 (D-1st Ward) and Svante Myrick ’09 (D – 4th Ward) have released their latest fundraising data, indicating Myrick and Mackesey are now neck-in-neck in total money raised.

As reported in the 11-day Pre-Primary Financial Report, Myrick raised an additional $7,047.25 between Aug. 9 and Aug. 30. His campaign funds totaled $6,981.20 as of August 30. Mackesey raised $4,449.00 in the same period, bringing her total campaign balance to $6,148.65.

According to Myrick’s campaign treasurer, Adam Gay ’08, most of of the money raised has been used for campaign literature, signs and radio ads.

Myrick’s campaign has held two fundraising events at Castaways and one at Madeline’s restaurant. Mackesey, unlike Myrick, noted that she has not been actively holding fundraisers for her campaign. Mackesey’s only campaign fundraiser took place Thursday night at Felicia’s Atomic Lounge.

“We haven’t done a tremendous amount of fundraising over the campaign,” Mackesey said.” We sent out a letter, and I have talked to some individuals, but most of it has been forthcoming. People have stepped up over the time period, and money has been coming in steadily on its own.”

Although Myrick led the pack in contributions during this cycle, Mackesey garnered the most endorsements of any candidate, with many current and former City of Ithaca Common Council members and the Tompkins County Legislature throwing their support behind Mackesesy.

Mackesey currently has 34 endorsements, including Common Council members Eric Rosario (D-2nd Ward), Ellen McCollister ’78 (D-3rd Ward) and current City of Ithaca Mayor Carolyn Peterson, as well as 11 former council members.

While McCollister praised Myrick for running a well-managed and  social media savvy campaign, she ultimately chose to endorse Mackesey. McCollister said she doubted Myrick’s ability to manage the city as mayor given his limited experience.

“I’m not convinced he’s developed the perspective yet of what it’s like to manage such a complicated city, especially from the vantage point of the 4th Ward, which is 97 percent students and turns over every year,” McCollister said. “Being mayor is a whole different ball park from being a Common Council representative.”

McCollister added that she felt Mackesey was the candidate “who would would best represent the concerns of East Hill homeowners and taxpayers” — the residents McCollister currently represents.

Myrick, however, is currently endorsed by 31 other individuals, including Dan Cogan (D-5th Ward), Deb Mohlenhoff (D-5th) Ward and fellow fourth  member Eddie Rooker ’09.

Despite Mackesey’s support from the council members in the first, second and third wards and Myrick’s support from those in the fourth and fifth wards, both candidates said they have received a wide range of support unrestricted to these specific areas of the city.

“[My support] goes across the boards,” Mackesey said. “When I first started going door-to-door, I started going out in the fifth ward, where I knew both Common Council members supported Svante and I found a lot of support in that ward.”

While he was glad to have a lot of support from Northside, Fall Creek and East Hill, Myrick said contributions seemed evenly distributed across the city

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Myrick’s campaign manager as Adam Day. In fact, the campaign manager is Adam Gay ’08. Due to an editing error, the article also failed to indicate that Mackesey has held one fundraiser.

Original Author: David Marten