COLUMBIA – It's a six-figure election season.
Candidates for the Columbia City Council and Columbia Board of Education combined have raised more than $178,000 in campaign contributions from developers, doctors, university professors and many retired people, according to campaign finance reports filed with election authorities Monday.
The Missourian has posted a searchable Excel database of campaign contributions and spending on its local government blog, The Watchword.
In each of the three council races, candidates endorsed by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce are leading in contributions.
Here is a breakdown by race:
Developers and doctors made up the majority of Bob McDavid's contributions. He received 18 contributions of more than $500, including $1,000 from both developer Gary Evans and Guitar Building Partnership, a rental and real estate company owned by David Knight.
Evans said his support for McDavid stems from personal experience and from shared perspectives.
"I've known Bob for a long time and was very impressed with him and Fred Parry when they negotiated a new lease for the hospital," Evans said. "... I've been in land development for a really long time. I just want a good business sense on the City Council."
Of the 35 doctors who gave money to McDavid's campaign, Peter Buchert made the largest donation of $550. Buchert works for the Columbia Orthopaedic Group.
The following businesses registered to Larry Moore donated to McDavid's campaign on March 1 and March 4:
- The Harold E. Johnson Co.
- Con-AGG of Missouri
- Boone Quarries (also registered to Billy Sapp and Alan Barnes' Columbia Ready Mix)
- Underground Records Management
The businesses' contributions total $1,350.
Attempts to reach Moore were unsuccessful.
Jerry Wade struck a chord with the retired community. Thirty-one retired people donated a total of nearly $2,000 to his campaign.
Developer John Ott donated $200 to Wade's campaign. Ott's developments include the Berry Building at Walnut and Orr streets and the Kaldi's building at Ninth and Cherry streets. He's also an owner of The Tiger Hotel.
"I think Jerry is a good candidate," Ott said. "I think he's a wise candidate. I think we're blessed with good candidates. Jerry approached me early on, and I felt very good about supporting him. I think he's done a pretty effective job."
Sid Sullivan's more than 20 percent increase in donations from the first reporting deadline to now to nearly $6,700 from $5,500 was made up entirely of non-itemized, monetary contributions and one in-kind contribution of $100 from Ray Shapiro.
Paul Love, who reported no contributions in his last filing, jumped to more than $1,500. Love has said during his campaign that he's more interested in raising money for charity than for himself. He donated $1,001 to his own campaign.
Daryl Dudley received all but two of his contributions from developers and real estate agents.
The same group of businesses registered to Moore that donated to McDavid's campaign also gave $1,350 to Dudley's on March 8. Realtors Michael Hill and Robert Smith each donated $150 and Richland Road developer Tom Atkins donated $1,200 to Dudley the same day.
That day's donations equal more than a third of all Dudley's finances.
Tracy Greever-Rice did not list occupations or dates for any of her eight contributors. Her largest donation came from the Osage Group of the Sierra Club, chaired by Hank Ottinger. The club endorsed Greever-Rice, Skala, Wade and Sullivan.
Just more than 22 percent of Greever-Rice's increase came in the form of a $665.33 loan from her and her husband, Glenn Rice.
The majority of candidate Sarah Read's donations were in-kind, including a $500 donation from one of her two daughters, Molly Read.
William and Karen Dent and Ted and Kyle Groshong each gave $150, the only monetary donations.
Candidate Rick Buford reported $1,200 in contributions, up from zero on his last filing. Robert Call, Buford's campaign treasurer and the manager of Club Vogue, contributed $600. That was the largest of Buford's donations.
Buford's wife, Teisha Dalton-Buford, donated $250, and his mother, Pamela Buford, donated $100.
The same group of businesses registered to Moore that donated to McDavid and Dudley's campaigns also donated $1,400 to Gary Kespohl's campaign on March 8. The Columbia Insurance Group, chaired by Bob Wagner, donated $1,000 to Kespohl on the same day.
But Kespohl's total is more than double that of his opponent, mostly because of a $7,500 contribution from his business, the Central Missouri Computer Center, and $2,500 from his own pocket.
The Sierra Club at $200 made the largest contribution to Karl Skala's campaign.
Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe and former Fifth Ward Councilman Karl Kruse donated a combined $150.
Kruse, who also donated to Wade's campaign, said he supports both Skala and Wade because they are proponents of growth that incorporates parks and sustainability.
"Sullivan is a pretty good candidate, too, but I don't think he's got the constituency to win," Kruse said. "Unfortunately I think he's going to draw votes from Wade."
Jan Mees received $1,355 from Columbia Public Schools employees and $1,175 from retired people. Those two groups make up more than 75 percent of Mees's contributions in the latest report.
James Whitt's largest contribution of $275 came from his wife, Annelle Whitt. She also contributed $266 in-kind to his campaign.
Dan Holt has not filed any campaign finance reports.
Jonathan Sessions' contributions slowed down after he reported just less than $11,000 on the first finance report.
Sessions raised more than $3,300 during the previous reporting period, including a $300 contribution from Tim Parshall, associate director of MU's Assessment Resource Center.
Phil Peters' largest contributions include $362 from himself and $250 from attorney Craig Van Matre. Attorneys and professors contributed more than $1,000 to Peters, a law professor at MU.
Missourian reporter Chris Canipe contributed to this report.