Council candidates file campaign financing reports

With primary election day less than a week away, eight Mesquite City Council candidates filed their initial campaign contribution and expense reports on May 22. The next report is due Friday, June 8 just four days before the June 12 primary election day.

By far, the candidate receiving the largest amount of contributions and spending the most is Annie Black who is running for council seat 4 against Chuck Kruger and Karen Fielding.

Black received $10,515 in contributions with $5,000 of it coming from her uncle, Jim Black. She listed another $3,000 in the form of a loan from herself. Another uncle, Gary Black, donated $1,000. Four other contributions ranged from $200 to $500 for a total of $1,200.

Black spent $2,822 at A&B Print and Mailing in Las Vegas and another $1,029 at Final Details in Mesquite on signs and campaign materials. Her next largest expense was $1,000 to Battleborn Strategies, a political campaign consulting firm in Las Vegas. She also spent $582 with Reliance Connects and $275 with Battle Born Media, parent company of Mesquite Local News, for advertising. In total, Black listed $6,367 in campaign expenses.

One of her opponents, Karen Fielding, was the next biggest fundraiser of all eight candidates coming in with $2,955 in donations. Fielding gave her campaign $1,900 of that total with ERA Brokers Consolidated donating $500 and Colonial Property Management adding $150. She listed a donation of $105 from an unknown source. She also received $300 in contributions of less than $100 each.

Most of Fielding’s campaign coffers were spent on advertising and signs for a total of $2,931 in expenses.

Chuck Kruder, also running against Black and Fielding, raised a total of $2,370 in donations with $800 of that listed as an In-Kind donation from Ace Website Pro in Las Vegas. He received $500 from an individual in Mission Viejo, CA and an additional $900 from four individuals. Kruder listed $170 in donations of less than $100 each.

Kruder spent $200 more with Ace Website Pro, $253 with PDQ in Las Vegas for signs, and $150 with Battle Born Media.

Of the three people running for Seat 1 on city council, the incumbent Geno Withelder listed the largest amount of contributions at $2,600, all coming from himself. He listed $1,122 in expenses, also paid to himself. No other contributions or expenses were listed on Withelder’s report.

Sandra Ramaker, running against Withelder, listed $2,000 in contributions with $1,000 of that coming from Wolf Creek Golf Club. When Ramaker ran unsuccessfully for the Virgin Valley Water District Board of Directors in 2016, Wolf Creek donated over $3,700 to her campaign.

Ramaker also listed a $500 donation from herself this reporting period along with $100 each from five individuals. She listed $1,324 in expenses with the bulk, $815, going to Build a Sign in Austin, TX for campaign signs. She also spent $80 on advertising with Battle Born Media and another $125 with Final Details in Mesquite.

Kay Mercer, also running for Seat 1 against Withelder and Ramaker, did not list any contributions to her campaign. She listed $2,309 in expenses, mostly on campaign signs from Final Details, Signs on the Cheap in Austin, Texas, and VistaPrint online.

Two candidates for Seat 3, who will not appear on the primary ballot but will wait until the November general election, also filed campaign finance reports.

George Gault, running against incumbent David Ballweg, raised $1,711 in total contributions with $1,000 coming from Arlene Waite and $500 coming from Herb Calhoun. Gault listed a $111 In-Kind contribution from Mesquite Mayor Al Litman for sign holders. He also listed $100 in contributions of less than $100.

Gault’s expenses included $1,116 in signs and $253 to himself for unspecified expenses.

Ballweg’s report showed no contributions and no expenses. In the 2016 election, Ballweg funded his own campaign without any outside donations.

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