COLUMBIA — More than $600,000 has been pumped into the race to replace Steve Benjamin as mayor of the capital city a month before filing opens.
Columbia City Councilman Daniel Rickenmann has surpassed $250,000 in donations and has $219,690 in his mayoral campaign coffers ahead of the Nov. 2 city election.
"You have three and could be more come filing day in the race, and we need to be prepared for it," Rickenmann said. "We're going to continue to reach out to people and get them to invest in the campaign. And we look forward to keeping the momentum going."
Sam Johnson, a former Benjamin aide, more than tripled his first quarter fundraising, bringing in $115,570 from April through June. He's sitting on $133,465.
Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine again reported more than six figures, seeing her second quarter numbers dip slightly with $105,008. She has $101,348 on hand.
Johnson and Rickenmann filed their quarterly election filing with the State Ethics Commission on July 13, three days after the state-mandated deadline. Devine filed July 12, two days late. They face no fines with a five-day grace period before penalties kick in.
Devine's campaign burned through $92,337 during the second quarter and has spent $128,780 in all, far more than her opponents reported spending. The bulk of the expenses went to communications services, campaign management and strategy, printing and fundraisers, her filings show.
Rickenmann has spent $33,049 since launching his campaign, including on campaign materials, office space, campaign labor and catering campaign events. Johnson has spent $18,985 on campaign staff, communications and travel.
Among Johnson's notable donors during the second quarter included the NFL's Miami Dolphins, the franchise giving his campaign the maximum $1,000 allowed by state law for a municipal race. A campaign spokesman said the donation was the result of a fundraiser hosted by one of Johnson's supporters in Florida.
Columbia City Council members Ed McDowell and Sam Davis, who have endorsed Johnson's campaign were among his donors, while Devine's at-large colleague on council, Howard Duvall, gave to her campaign.