According to the Richmond-based, nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP), the three Democrat candidates for the Nov. 8 Roanoke City Council elections enjoy a big money edge over their competitors.
The candidate with the biggest war chest as of reporting date October 27 is Democrat Joe Leslie Cobb, having raised $47,706. Notably, Cobb’s biggest donor was himself, with a contribution of $17,090. (As reported here, Cobb has not responded to requests from The Roanoke Star about his controversial $658 dinner he sought to use a $500,000 state gun violence prevention grant to pay for.)
The second-biggest pot of campaign cash is for Democrat Peter Volosin, with $37,517, followed closely by fellow Dem Vivian Sanchez-Jones with $36,808.
Former four-term Mayor David Bowers who used to be a Democrat but is now running as an independent is a distant fourth with $18,810.
The Vote4Roanoke team of GOP candidates came in behind Bowers. Dalton Baugess was fifth with $15,702; Nick Hagan was sixth with $15,370; and Maynard Keller was seventh with $12,949.
Rev. Tyler Preston (I) was eighth with $3,760. The remaining independent in the race, Rev. Jamaal Jackson, had no contributions listed on the VPAP site. The City of Roanoke has assigned Jackson a fine for neglecting to follow campaign reporting guidelines, a charge Jackson denies, claiming all the money in his race he donated himself.
All told, the three Democrats have a combined amount of $122,031, while the three Republicans have $44,021. In other words, among the nine candidates vying for the three at-large seats, the Democrats have a roughly three-to-one financial advantage.
Common thinking often holds the Democrats as the party of the little man and the GOP as the party of big money, but that is not the case in the Star City’s council race.