MACON, Ga. — Heading into the final five months of Macon-Bibb's mayor's race, attorney Lester Miller has more money in the bank than his seven rivals combined.
That's according to campaign-disclosure reports filed with the Macon-Bibb Board of Elections.
But those records also show that another candidate raised and spent the most money in the second half of 2019 -- businessman Blake Sullivan.
Candidates qualify for the race in March, when mayoral candidates must pay a $3,000 fee to get on the ballot. However, some candidates, including Miller and county commissioner Larry Schlesinger, have been raising money for more than a year.
While fundraising totals don't necessarily translate into votes at the polls, finance reports show who's supporting the candidates and where their money goes.
So far, according to the reports, four candidates have more than $40,000 in the bank:
- Miller raised $105,369 in the second half of the year, spent $28,837 and has a balance of $228,121.
- Sullivan, who announced in August that he's running, raised $132,376 in the second half of 2019. He spent $40,265 and has a $92,111 balance
- Schlesinger: raised $14,830, spent $13,024, balance $56,903.
- Businessman Cliffard Whitby, who announced in October, raised $54,667, spent $12,808 and has a balance $41,859. He's loaned his own campaign $25,000.
Among other announced candidates:
- Charles Olson, manager of the 1842 Inn, balance $4,080. He's loaned his campaign $4,000.
- Stanley Stewart, East Macon activist and former educator, zero balance
- County commissioner Virgil Watkins, zero balance. He announced he's dropping out of the race.
- Michael McKeever, a Robins Air Force Base employee, $110.
Two more people who took out papers to run in 2019 did not file year-end reports: businesswoman Chatavia Callaway and labor organizer-activist Verbin Weaver.
Bibb County votes on the mayor's race on May 19. If a runoff is needed, it would be held July 21.
MORE ON THE MAYOR'S RACE
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