The first round of campaign finance reports filed last week for the Bryan and College Station City Council races offer a glimpse into who is supporting each candidate and how much is being spent in each race.
In the race for the Place 3 seat on the College Station council, challenger Dallas Shipp has raised $7,700 compared to incumbent Councilwoman Linda Harvell’s $4,445. In the first reporting period, Shipp logged contributions from former College Station mayor and current Brazos County Commissioner Nancy Berry and her husband Leonard, who gave $100, and from Harvell’s current peer on the council, Councilwoman Julie Schultz and her husband Joe, who gave $250.
Shipp also has the support of Planning and Zoning Commissioner Jeremy Osborne, who Harvell defeated last November to fill the one-year unexpired term left on the Place 3 seat after Karl Mooney was elected mayor. Osborne gave $500 to Shipp.
He also received $1,000 from Larry Young Paving, and another $1,000 from Brooke and Matthew Young, also of Larry Young Paving. Property management companies Aggieland Properties and TCK Investment Properties gave $2,000 and $500, respectively.
Other donors to Shipp’s campaign so far include Mark Kristen, CEO of beverage distributor Kristen Distributing Co., $500; Rebecca Boenigk, CEO of Neutral Posture, and her husband Bobby, $500; home builder Michael Schaeffer, the incumbent candidate for the Place 6 seat on the College Station school board, $200; and James Murr, broker and founder of Cortiers Real Estate.
Shipp has spent $7,116 so far, with $6,825 going toward advertising. Harvell, by comparison, has only spent $290 on storage space rentals and printing.
Harvell’s largest contributions come from local attorney Jim James, $1,500; Don Hellrigel, $500; and Fred Dupriest, $500. Several of her donors also gave to Bob Brick’s campaign for the Place 1 seat on the council, which is currently held by his wife, Councilwoman Blanche Brick. Those donors include Hellrigel, who is Brick’s campaign treasurer, and Dupriest, a Fairview Avenue resident who has filed a lawsuit with his wife challenging the proposed construction of a new Aggieland Outfitters location on the street where it intersects with George Bush Drive.
Other overlapping donors include Nan Crouse, Gwen Stacell and Suzanne Droleskey, who each gave $100 to Harvell’s campaign.
Brick has so far raised $3,215 in the race, including $500 from Hellrigel, $500 from the Dupriests, $100 from Crouse, $100 from Stacell and $100 from Suzanne and Bob Droleskey. He also received $50 from David and Lou Ellen Ruesink — David is a former College Station councilman.
Brick’s opponent for the Place 1 seat, Planning and Zoning Commissioner Elianor Vessali, has reported more than 2.5 times as much in contributions. Her total $8,620 in donations so far include outgoing Councilwoman Julie Schultz and her husband Joe, $250, and former College Station council members Jana McMillan, $500, and Swiki Anderson, who gave $110 with his wife Judy. Fellow P&Z Commissioners Jeremy Osborne and Bill Mather, along with his wife Carol, also gave $250 and $500, respectively.
Vessali’s largest reported contribution was $1,500 from the Texas Real Estate Political Action Committee. Developers Hunter Goodwin and Casey Oldham also each gave $500, and other contributions include $250 from Miles Construction and Development and $200 from Charles and Tedi Ellison.
Vessali reported $7,090 in expenditures, including $4,708 in advertising to C.C. Creations, $367 for campaign T-shirts, $342 for graphic design work, and $828 for her website and other printing expenses. Brick has spent $2,590 so far in the Place 1 race. His expenditures include $1,946 for advertising, about $283 for printing and other supply costs.
In Bryan, former councilman Mitch Morehead has outraised incumbent Single Member District 4 Councilman Mike Southerland nearly 7 to 1 during the reporting period. Total contributions for his campaign so far total $8,299 compared to Southerland’s $1,210, with several members of the local business and development community lining up to support his campaign.
Morehead’s largest donation in the first reporting period was $1,500 from the Texas Real Estate Political Action Committee, followed by $1,000 from investor Doug Pederson and his wife Cheryl, and $1,000 from home builder Randy French and his wife Cheryl. U.S. Rep. Bill Flores also gave $250 to Morehead’s campaign.
Morehead is also supported by bankers Timothy Bryan, chairman and CEO of The Bank & Trust, $500; Mark Humphrey, area chairman of Prosperity Bank, $500; and Timothy Jones, area president of Prosperity Bank and former College Station school board member, and his wife Marion, $200.
From the business and development communities, Morehead is supported by Dennis Goehring, former Bryan economic development director, $500; Louis Newman, owner of Newman Printing and former member of the Bryan Business Council, $250; developer Jack Culpepper, $500; Astin Partners CEO John Clanton, $250; and Ron Schmidt, general manager of Texas Commercial Waste, $200.
Some of Morehead’s other donations came from retired doctor and investor Sam Harrison, $500; and real estate broker John Clark and his wife Janice, $249.
Southerland, meanwhile, has received contributions over $50 from five individuals: former Bryan mayor Lloyd Joyce and his wife Mary, $500; Richard Pena, $300; CG Mancuso, $100; and Karen Hall, a resident who sued the city in 2004 seeking disannexation and who has been involved in past charter amendment petitions, $100.
Southerland has also loaned himself $2,000.
Morehead has so far reported $1,719 in expenditures, all for consulting services. Southerland’s $284 in expenditures mostly went toward printing expenses and his campaign website.