In 26 days Lubbock voters will head to the polls to elect a new mayor. So far, it's turning out to be one of the most expensive mayoral campaigns in recent history.
NewsChannel 11 requested hundreds of pages of documents which contain financial records for all city candidates since the first of this year. We are starting to see big numbers and big money in the mayoral race.
|Decision 2006 Election Coverage|
Four candidates are vying for the mayoral seat, but money is putting two of them on the forefront, and in clear view. Mayoral candidates David Miller and Tom Martin have each raised more than $100,000.
"It's expensive to run a campaign today. In fact ridiculously," said Miller.
"Well to run a successful campaign for a city-wide office it takes quite a bit of money," said Martin.
Martin's campaign has raised just more than the $100,000 mark and Miller's around $144,000.
According to the last campaign finance report, ending April 3rd, Martin, who is also current mayor pro-tem, has spent about $47,000 since January and has a remaining contribution balance of almost $34,000.
Since January, Miller spent just more than $42,000 with a remaining balance around $75,500. Both candidates say while contributions continue to come in, a lot of the money is spent getting their name known.
"Between media advertising and yards signs, and large 4x8 signs all the other expenses of running an office and taking polls is just takes a lot of money," said Miller.
"It takes a lot of media, number one. Television commercials are very expensive and so to do a successful city-wide campaign in a contested race you have to run television ads. Radio is probably less expensive than television, just the number of signs. We have thousands of yards signs and the printing cost of those signs is a pretty good clip when you start adding those up," said Martin.
Martin and Miller agree, while it takes money to run a campaign, it's also a way to get constituents involved.
"We don't have a lot of big givers, but we have hundreds and hundreds of $20, $50 and $100 contributions and normally those translate into votes," said Miller.
"When someone makes a campaign contribution it's because they want to help. There are no promises, there's nothing offered in return it's simply that they believe in you and believe in your cause, and so therefore they're willing to help with the campaign," said Martin.
In the past three months, Martin has received money from about 100 donors and Miller has had just under 220 donors.
The other two mayoral candidates are Gilbert Montes and Ysabel Luna.
Since January, Montes hasn't raised any money but he did spend $100. That's the filing fee for office. Luna has raised and spent $100.
Candidates Report Funds Raised For City Election