RELATED: CAMPAIGN FINANCE | Pre-general election reports
By David Skolnick
In the Youngstown mayoral race, Jamael Tito Brown and Sean McKinney each received about $50,000 in campaign contributions during the past few months.
But thanks to $41,300 in loans from his family members, McKinney has a commanding financial lead during the final days before the Nov. 7 election.
Also, as of Oct. 18, McKinney, an independent candidate, had $77,727 left in his campaign fund compared with $2,997 for Brown, who beat incumbent Mayor John A. McNally in the May Democratic primary, according to the latest finance reports filed with the Mahoning County Board of Elections.
Between June 3 and Oct. 18, Brown received $50,790 in campaign contributions. Between July 1 and Oct. 18, McKinney picked up $50,457 in contributions from donors.
The pre-general-election reporting period is different for the two candidates because Brown ran in the primary and filed reports both before and after that campaign. As an independent, McKinney filed a prior report for campaign finance activity between May 1 and June 30.
As he did during his primary victory, Brown is spending money as quickly as it’s coming in for the general election.
Brown spent $49,926 during the pre-general-election period. He came into the reporting period with $2,133 in his campaign fund and had $2,997 as of Oct. 18.
During the primary, Brown, a former council president and 3rd Ward councilman, raised $33,912 compared with $89,399 for McNally. Brown beat McNally by 472 votes in the primary.
McKinney, a former city buildings and grounds commissioner, spent $15,780 – or less than one-third of what Brown spent – during the pre-general-election period.
But McKinney spent $41,965 toward the general-election campaign between May 1 and June 30.
There are two other independent candidates in the city’s mayoral race: Janet Tarpley, a former 6th Ward councilwoman, and Cecil Monroe, who’s unsuccessfully run for elected offices – including mayor.
Tarpley received $8,861 in contributions in this election and loaned $6,000 to her campaign. She spent $13,750 on her mayoral campaign and had $1,111 left in her account as of Oct. 18.
Monroe didn’t file a report. Those who don’t raise at least $1,000 don’t have to file.
During the recent filing period, McKinney received more campaign contributions than the other candidates from top officials in city government.
The contributions ranged from $125 to $250 and were primarily to purchase tickets to McKinney fundraisers. Among city employees contributing to McKinney were Finance Director David Bozanich; Jonathan Huff, Civil Service Commission administrator; city Clerk Valencia Marrow; Abigail Beniston, code enforcement and blight remediation superintendent; Charles Shasho, deputy director of public works; Eugene Leson Jr., the water department’s chief engineer; 5th Ward Councilwoman Lauren McNally; and police Capt. Rod Foley.
City officials contributing to Brown’s campaign during this reporting period included 3rd Ward Councilman Nate Pinkard, Deputy Law Director Rebecca Gerson, Council President Charles Sammarone and police Capt. Jason Simon.
6th Ward Councilwoman Anita Davis contributed $500 to Tarpley’s campaign.
Water Commissioner Harry L. Johnson III gave money to the campaigns of three candidates: $125 to McKinney, $100 to Tarpley and $50 to Brown.
Sarah Brown-Clark, clerk of courts and a Democrat, gave $125 to McKinney and $100 to Tarpley. Brown-Clark gave $100 to Brown in March.