Feb. 24—With a week left in the Chattanooga mayoral election, Kim White continues to out-fundraise fellow frontrunners Wade Hinton and Tim Kelly, nearly tripling Hinton and Kelly's individual fundraising totals.
The three top-polling candidates — Hinton, a former city attorney, Kelly, a local business owner and White, former president of River City Co. — are also the top three candidates for fundrausubf in the crowded race to replace outgoing two-term Mayor Andy Berke on March 3.
While Kelly leads in the polls, White leads comfortably in fundraising efforts in both the final fundraising period ending Feb. 20 and the race as a whole.
White has raised $164,000 in the time since her last report, reflecting more than 350 new donors.
Her new gains keep White at the top of the 15-candidate pack for fundraising in the most recent reporting period and throughout the campaign, with a total of more than $628,000 raised to date.
White says her leading financial position demonstrates growing support.
"The unbelievable momentum of our campaign continues to strengthen as we approach March 2," White said in a statement Tuesday. "The generosity of hundreds of first-time donors reflects growing voter confidence in my ability to lead the city. I'm humbled and encouraged by this tremendous outpouring of support."
White has spent $289,000 over the past 35 days, $160,000 of which went to advertising, her biggest expense.
Her campaign has about $58,000 left on hand.
Hinton raised $81,000 over the last period, bringing him to a total of around $231,000 in donations since announcing his campaign in October.
A spokesman for Hinton said Tuesday that the number shows support for Hinton's vision among Chattanoogans.
"From the beginning, Wade's campaign has been about a vision for Chattanooga where we repair the damage from the pandemic and do so in a way that creates a more inclusive and stable future for everyone. More and more people understand that vision and know that Wade is uniquely qualified to carry it out, which we're seeing in our fundraising numbers — and this helps us make sure that it can reach even more Chattanoogans," spokesman Spencer Bowers said Tuesday. "In just four months since launching our campaign, we have received donations from almost 800 individual donors. We thank everyone who has supported us so far and invite the rest of the city to join us now."
Hinton spent roughly $126,000 this period, including about $30,000 in marketing, his biggest expense.
According to the filing, Hinton's campaign has just shy of $42,000 on hand.
Kelly, who has run a primarily self-funded campaign, has raised the least outside money of the top three candidates with about $210,000 total.
In the last 45 days Kelly raised $69,000, or nearly one-third of his total outside contributions since beginning his campaign in June, from 125 donors.
Kelly says with 80% of the recent donations made by Chattanoogans, even the relatively small amount of fundraising is a sign of momentum.
"From the very beginning, I've emphasized the importance of focusing on issues critical to Chattanoogans. That is far more important than 'dialing for dollars,'" Kelly said in a statement Tuesday. "Even so, we've been overwhelmed by the support expressed by the community through their unsolicited contributions over the last few weeks."
Kelly, who has given more than $1 million to his campaign, spent $488,000 over the past 35 days, with more than $280,000 going toward media.
Kelly's campaign has about $203,000 left on hand, according to the report.
Contact Sarah Grace Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6416. Follow her on Twitter @_sarahgtaylor.