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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Oct. 15, 201312:00 PM EST

Brown raises $45,000 in third quarter

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by: David Chapman

Mayor Alvin Brown over the past three months added almost $45,000 to his re-election war chest, but has yet to draw a well-known candidate.

He's raised more than $304,000 in monetary contributions since the first of the year, according to campaign reports filed last week.

In the third quarter, that stretches from July 1- Sept. 30, Brown received 132 contributions that consisted of mostly checks sprinkled with in-kind donations. His expenses and distributions were more than $17,500, with most of them being travel and event expenses.

The latest report filed with the Supervisor of Elections doesn't include another $86,000 raised at the state level through a committee called "Taking Jacksonville to the Next Level."

The committee collected those contributions beginning in July until mid-September, before more than $79,000 was transferred to a political committee of almost the same name. State law this year eliminated allowing the committees.

Brown has drawn one opponent, Tiffany Wingo, who has yet to raise any money.

It isn't the only race in the 2015 really election void of competition. Most of the 19 City Council seats, term-limited or not, have few filed candidates.

Of the nine seats opening, three have drawn more than one candidate.

That includes crowded fields in District 7, being vacated by Johnny Gaffney, and District 8, where Denise Lee will depart. Each race has drawn five candidates.

And, the race to replace Lee features a couple of known names and the closest money battle.

Terry Fields served District 7 for two terms from 1991-99 before being elected to the state House of Representatives for two terms, from 2000-08. He was succeeded on council by fellow challenger Pat Lockett-Felder, who served from 1999-2007.

Through three reporting periods, Fields has $10,500 in contributions, leading Lockett-Felder's $8,821. Of Field's money raised last quarter, $1,200 was a loan to himself.

Kimberly Daniels is the only sitting council member to file for re-election. Her lone opponent for the At-Large Group 1 seat, Orlando Robles, is the only candidate to withdraw. After an investigation by the state, Robles was arrested last week on charges of filing a false insurance claim.

Daniels also is among the leaders in campaign funds after loaning herself $50,000.

Mike Weinstein, a former state representative and city official, also loaned his campaign $50,000 for his race to succeed Stephen Joost for the At-Large Group 3 seat. Not counting the loan, Weinstein raised more than $8,100 in the quarter, his first.

Past candidate Danny Becton, running for the Northside seat held by the outgoing Ray Holt, also is among the campaign contribution leaders with more than $38,500 in the last quarter, his first. Of that, $25,000 is a loan to himself.

The next reporting period is a shortened one, covering October and due Nov. 12.

The first election will be March 24, 2015, with the general election on May 19, 2015. Offices up for election are mayor, council, sheriff, property appraiser, tax collector and supervisor of elections.

To date, two people have filed to run for mayor, one for sheriff and 23 for council.

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