Fundraising in Charleston’s mayoral race leveled off in the second quarter, at least in part because many candidates suspended their campaigns for the last two weeks after the fatal June 17 shooting inside Emanuel AME church.
Still, the top candidates already have more than $1 million on hand collectively as the race begins to heat back up.
Ginny Deerin, founder of Wings for Kids, raised the most money between April and June. Her $258,521 quarterly total edged state Rep. Leon Stavrinakis, who raised the most during the first quarter of the year and whose $200,525 second-quarter haul was the next most behind Deerin’s.
Deerin, who has been promoting her ideas for reforming the city’s transportation system, released a statement saying she was “excited about the broad support and enthusiasm that is fueling our campaign.”
Deerin was at Mother Emanuel the Sunday before the shooting and canceled or postponed events afterward.
Charleston businessman John Tecklenburg, who raised $161,119 during the quarter, also suspended his campaign for three weeks in the wake of the shooting, adding he plans to reschedule as many of the affected events as possible.
Stavrinakis’ campaign also announced plans to reschedule nearly a dozen fundraising events that had been canceled because of the shooting.
At least seven candidates are vying to replace Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, who is not seeking a new term. Filing doesn’t open until Aug. 3 and closes Aug. 17.
Stavrinakis currently has the most money on hand, with $400,128, about $37,000 more than Deerin.
Former City Councilman Paul Tinkler raised $29,992 during the second quarter, while current Councilman William Dudley Gregorie and former councilman Maurice Washington raised $23,986 and $10,450, respectively.
Toby Smith, a West Ashley resident and grant writer, has said she is running but had no campaign disclosure report on file Monday, according to the State Ethics Commission’s website.
After the shooting, Washington’s campaign released a statement urging people’s focus to remain on those who lost their lives, their family and friends and others still dealing with the horror of the deaths and “initiatives that unite us rather than divide us.”
Tecklenburg has announced plans for a July 22 relaunch of his campaign that will feature former U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings, and others.
The election is Nov. 3, and if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote getters will meet in a Nov. 17 runoff.
Reach Robert Behre at (843) 937-5771.