According to reports filed with the Washtenaw County clerk’s office, seven Ann Arbor city council candidates in three contested Democratic primary races on Aug. 5, 2014 have raised a total of $57,877 in itemized cash contributions.
That’s about $100,000 less than the amount raised by four candidates in the mayoral primary. The filing deadline for pre-primary reports was July 25.
In Ward 4, incumbent Democrat Margie Teall is not seeking re-election and only one candidate is running – Graydon Krapohl. So he did not need to file campaign finance reports. In Ward 5, Leon Bryson announced several weeks ago that he was withdrawing from his challenge of first-term incumbent Chuck Warpehoski. Even though both Ward 5 candidates filed campaign finance reports, this article does not analyze them.
Accounting for more than half of the total amount raised in the other three wards were the two candidates in Ward 2: Kirk Westphal and Nancy Kaplan. Kaplan’s $16,314 was easily more than any other candidate. By way of comparison to recent Ward 2 races, for the pre-primary campaign period in 2011 and 2013 Jane Lumm raised about $19,000 and $20,000 in those respective years. Westphal raised $12,420 this year, which is about $2,000 more than he raised during the comparable period in his unsuccessful 2013 campaign against Lumm. Westphal and Kaplan are competing for the Ward 2 seat currently held by Sally Petersen. She decided to run for mayor instead of seeking re-election to the Ward 2 seat.
This year’s Ward 3 contest features Julie Grand, Bob Dascola and Samuel McMullen, who are all competing for the seat that Christopher Taylor is leaving in order to run for mayor. Among the three, Dascola raised the most money with $7,385 in contributions compared to $6,595 for Grand and $5,248 for McMullen. (McMullen’s campaign reported a total of $5,315 in itemized contributions, but The Chronicle’s calculation was for $67 less than that, based on the documents.) Grand’s total this year is significantly less than the $10,825 she raised in the comparable period in 2013 for her unsuccessful campaign against Stephen Kunselman.
The Ward 1 race features one-term incumbent Sumi Kailasapathy and Don Adams. Kailasapathy raised $5,345 compared to $4,570 for Adams. Kailasapathy’s amount this year is about $1,000 more than what she raised during the pre-primary period for the 2012 primary, which she won against Eric Sturgis.
While the raw totals provide some insight into how the campaigns are being financed, there’s more to it than that.
Here’s a read-only link to the Google spreadsheet used by The Chronicle to generate charts and maps: [2014 Council Campaign Finance: Ann Arbor] For readers who’d like full-sized versions of the maps embedded below, here’s a link to the Google Fusion tables: [2014 Council Campaign Finance Maps]
Below we present charts and maps to illustrate the distribution of donations by amount and geography.
Below are frequency distributions of donations grouped by size of the donation. In the last few years, winning campaigns for city council races have been characterized by distributions that skewed toward smaller donations.
Charts: Ward 3
Charts: Ward 2
Charts: Ward 1
Maps are plotted by location of the person making the contribution.
Ward 3 Maps: McMullen
Contributions to Samuel McMullen’s campaign are plotted in red. Several contributions came from the area south of Washtenaw Avenue in Ward 3 – from the ward’s tip in the pie-shaped wedge to the farther reaches of the ward. But those Ward 3 contributions do not form an obvious concentration in Ward 3. Several of McMullen’s contributions – 35 of 88 contributions –were made by residents outside the city, in other parts of the country. Many of those appear to have been made by family members.
Ward 3 Maps: Grand
Contributions to Julie Grand’s campaign are plotted in yellow. They show a clear clustering toward the tip of Ward 3′s pie-shaped wedge near the center of the city.
Ward 3 Maps: Dascola
Contributions to Bob Dascola’s campaign are plotted in green. Many of Dascola’s contributions come from south of Washtenaw Avenue in Ward 3. But he’s received many contributions from across the city. He received several contributions from north of Washtenaw Avenue, in Ward 2. He also received several contributions from the central western part of the city in Ward 5 as well as the northwest corner of Ward 4.
Ward 2 Maps: Westphal
Contributions to Kirk Westphal’s campaign are plotted in green. The majority of Westphal’s contributions come from Ward 2 – north of Washtenaw Avenue and in the Glazier Way area in the central eastern part of the city. There’s a sprinkling of contributions from other parts of the city as well.
Ward 2 Maps: Kaplan
Contributions to Nancy Kaplan’s campaign are plotted in yellow. Kaplan’s contributions show a heavy concentration in the southern part of Ward 2 – in the Huron Hills area north of Washtenaw Avenue. The central western part of the city (Ward 5) shows a fairly high concentration of contributions as well.
Ward 1 Maps: Kailasapathy
Contributions to Sumi Kailasapathy’s campaign are plotted in blue. Kailasapathy’s contributions are mostly from Ward 1 in the northern part of the city. But she’s also received contributions from the central western part of town (Ward 5).
Ward 1 Maps: Adams
Contributions to Don Adams’ campaign are plotted in purple. Adams received contributions from the Northside area along Pontiac Trail. He also received a sprinkling of contributions from the Burns Park area.
The Chronicle could not survive without regular voluntary subscriptions to support our coverage of public bodies like the Ann Arbor city council. Click this link for details: Subscribe to The Chronicle. And if you’re already voting for The Chronicle please encourage your friends, neighbors and colleagues to help support The Chronicle, too!