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Columbia Missourian

Who's funding candidates in the April election?

By Patrick Sweet
March 3, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Realtors, doctors, lawyers, council persons past and present, and many retired people have helped fund candidates for the Columbia City Council and Columbia School Board.

Candidates for the April 6 municipal election filed campaign finance reports last week. Mayoral candidate Jerry Wade led all council candidates, receiving a little more than $23,000. Jonathan Sessions led all school board candidates with roughly $10,700.


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Wade: Seventy-seven of his 135 contributors in his latest report listed their occupation as retired. Their contributions totaled nearly half of the $10,525 reported. MU employees make up the second-largest category, contributing $1,495.

James Preston, retired, and Ron Shy, of Shy Realty, are Wade's largest contributors, each giving $500. Shy said he donated because Wade is an old friend.

Bob McDavid: The Columbia Insurance Group donated $1,000 of the $4,550 in contributions reported in his latest report.

Richland Road LLC developer Scott Atkins was one of four individuals to donate $500 to McDavid's campaign, the second-largest contribution.

"I think he will be able to tackle a lot of tough issues and get all sides of an issue engaged," Atkins said.

Sid Sullivan: He has received the majority of his roughly $5,500 from his wife, Joan Sullivan. She donated $1,000 and loaned an additional $2,396.92 at 0 percent interest for an indefinite period.

Max Anderson, retired, contributed $500 to Sullivan's campaign. His is the only other itemized contribution reported.

Sal Nuccio and Sean O'Day: Neither filed campaign finance reports. Candidates are only required to file campaign finance reports if they have received $500 or more, received $325 from a single contributor, or have spent $1,000.

Paul Love: He filed a committee statement of inactivity. The filing discloses that Love has not received more than $500. Nuccio and O'Day were not required to file similar statements because they have not established campaign committees with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

The deadline for establishing a campaign committee is March 7.

Third Ward

Karl Skala: Patrice and Kurt Albert, retired, made the largest contributions to the incumbent's $7,132.80. Albert-Oakland Park was named after Kurt Albert's father after he donated the property.

Tiger PAC donated $250 to Skala's campaign. Frederick Schmidt, Skala's treasurer, is the treasurer of the political action committee.

Gary Kespohl: He received $250 from realtor Stephen Wendling. Wendling's son, Scott Wendling, is helping manage Kespohl's campaign.

Nancy Trice, unemployed, and Eugene Gerke, consultant, also contributed to Kepohl's $4,869 total.

Fourth Ward

Sarah Read: The majority of her roughly $5,700 in donations have been in-kind. Her adult daughters, Anna and Molly, each donated $1,000 in-kind. In-kind contributions are reported as monetary figures that represent the cost of goods or services. Read's daughters have assisted her campaign in ways such as designing graphics.

Read received more than $731 of in-kind donations from her law firm.

Attorney Jim Swearengen and his wife, Linda, donated $200 to Read. The Swearengens said they met Read through the Columbia chapter of the national organization Parents for Public Schools.

"She's the kind of person who can talk to people about ideas and come to a conclusion that is satisfying and good for a group," Linda said.

Tracy Greever-Rice: Former Fourth Ward Councilman Rex Campbell and his wife, Mary, donated $500 to the campaign. Rex Campbell is Greever-Rice's treasurer.

Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe donated $100 to Greever-Rice's campaign.

Dan Goldstein, chairman of the city Visioning Commission, contributed $150.

Greever-Rice has received roughly $2,600.

Daryl Dudley: He reported only one contribution exceeding $100. Russell Potterfield, president of Battenfeld Technologies Inc. contributed $200 of the roughly $1,700 that Dudley has raised.

"I've been a friend of Daryl's for many years," Potterfield said. "I'm sure he would bring interesting views to the campaign."

Rick Buford: He did not file any finance reports, nor was he required to do so.

"We didn't have assets as of the 20th," Buford said. "We just opened the (bank) account Wednesday or Thursday of last week."

Buford said he wasn't looking for donations.


School Board candidates — three-year term

James Whitt: A doctor, an insurance agent and another school board member made contributions to his campaign. School Board member Michelle Pruitt and her husband, David, contributed $100 of Whitt's $815.

"I think he's done a fantastic job on the board, and I'd like to see him stay there," Pruitt said.

Jan Mees: Nearly 100 people made contributions to the campaign, totaling more than $5,400.

Ralph Conte, Jan Mees's father, is her largest supporter. He donated more than $500.

"She chastises me for supporting her, but I do it anyway," he said

Dan Holt: He did not file campaign finance reports.

"We really haven't started any fundraising at this point," Holt said.

John Karle*, Holt's treasurer, said Holt's campaign has not received any contributions or donations.


School Board candidates — one-year term

Jonathan Sessions: Tech 2 Consulting made the largest contribution. The consulting firm, owned by Sessions and Byron Molix, donated $950 of the roughly $10,800 the campaign has received.

Potterfield, the president of Battenfeld Technologies Inc. who donated to Dudley, gave Sessions $500

Potterfield said he knew Sessions pretty well and was also going to donate to Mees's campaign.

Phil Peters: He received donations from more than 40 people, including a $500 donation from Vickie Park, a doctor.

Peters, an MU law professor, raised more than $2,500. He donated roughly $520 to his own campaign.


The last day to register for the April 6 municipal election is March 10.

Missourian reporters Chris Canipe and Kathleen Pointer contributed to this report.