We now sit four days away from in person voting on the general election, and the end of this election cycle. As I’ve stated many times, the outcome of this election will have a strongly marked effect on our beloved city for the next few years.
As part of this process, the five remaining candidates submitted another set of financial disclosures for donations and expenditures through November 11, 2023. Between all the candidates, another $25,950.43 was raised, an additional $40,917.23 was spent. Up to this disclosure date, $224,868.32 has been spent on this election by the candidates.
What does the total spent on this election say? What does the number represent? I personally believe it shows how desperate the old guard is at wanting to preserve its power. It also shows a really great underdog story.
You see, Jimmie Hughes and Danielle Larkin each raised and spend about $35,000 to date (Jimmy raised $33,890.73 and Danielle $35,245.00, and Jimmie spent $33,804.10 and Danielle $31,755.75). Steve Kemp, knowing he wasn’t an incumbent, went more aggressively, raising $52,125.00, and spending $47,807.22.
Our underdogs in this story are Brad Bennett and Paula Smith. Brad raised $17,787.32 and spent $13,918.23, and Paula raised $16,312.33 and spent $16,307.33. Our protagonists, not coming from the old power brokers, and not pushed by the big money in our town have relied quite heavily on the grass roots. On the everyday citizens to give what means they can, and helping by actively campaigning.
Aside from the classical hero-story archetype in this allegory, there is also something else to be considered. When you look at the amount each candidate raised and spent, this is for a position that pays $20,000.00 per year plus expenses. Why has so much money poured into this municipal race? What is expected of the donations (investments) spent by the large donors?
For me, I have a much high degree of trust in Brad and Paula. Their donation lists are the individual citizens of St. George who have had enough. As I opened, we are at the end of this race. I once again implore you, if you haven’t sent in/dropped off your ballot or are planning on voting in person on the 21st, please become informed on the candidates. Become informed on what our incumbents have done and have said while in office and during the campaign trail.
I know who I am voting for. I do so with a clear conscious, truly believing that my candidates have the clearest and best direction for the city in mind. I am voting for Brad and Paula.