In the reporting period that ended just before Christmas, Mayoral candidate Judge Michael Bagneris added slightly more to his campaign war chest than incumbent New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, but Bagneris trails Landrieu in overall funding to date.
Bagneris, who resigned his Civil District Court judgeship last month to announce a surprise run for mayor, reported $170,000 in campaign contributions in his first campaign finance report released Thursday. Bagneris also reported contributing $50,000 in personal funds to the campaign, giving him a reported total of $220,000. Landrieu reported receiving $200,000 in cash contributions and $4,300 worth of in-kind donations of goods or services.
Landrieu’s campaign, however, began the most recent finance reporting period — late October to late December — with $1.6 million on hand. And the mayor remains far ahead of Bagneris, at $1.2 million in his campaign war chest as of late December, roughly $1 million more than Bagneris.
Bagneris’ report covers Dec. 13 to Dec. 23, but all of his contributions come from Dec. 13, the day he announced, according to the report. Contributors include people and businesses who have recently been at odds with the Landrieu administration, including United Cabs and the Davillier Law Firm, both of which opposed Landrieu’s taxi reform package; Hamp’s Construction, a company Landrieu publicly criticized during a public meeting on the city budget last year; and Waltzer & Wiygul Law Firm, a firm at the center of the city’s legal dispute over control of the Edward Wisner Donation. All contributed $5,000. Treme actor Wendell Pierce also contributed $5,000 to Bagneris.
Bagneris spent only $100, a campaign qualifying fee paid to the state. Landrieu’s campaign, which kicked off a major TV ad blitz in December, reported spending $600,000 — about three times as much as Bagneris has raised. About half of Landrieu’s spending went to buy ads on local media.
NAACP president and mayoral challenger Danatus King reported raising about $7,100 and spending about $5,200. He has $2,400 on hand, up from $500 at the beginning of the reporting period. Entertainer and mayoral candidate Manny “Chevrolet” Bruno reported no contributions and no funds on hand.
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