July 26 2013 12:00 AM

Bernero has lopsided fundraising lead in mayor’s race; Dunbar tops At-Large candidates; and in close 4th Ward, Canfora lands contributions from four Council members

Friday, July 26 — In an example of what’s proving to be a lopsided mayoral race, incumbent Mayor Virg Bernero reported earning more than $75,000 in campaign contributions for the reporting period leading up to the Aug. 6 Primary Election. His next closest opponent raised less than $1,000.

Bernero’s top contributor is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s political action committee, which has contributed a total of $9,800 in the election cycle that began after the General Election in 2009 when he won a second term. Other top contributors include political action committees of major law firms, General Motors and Granger.

After reporting $75,725 in contributions between Jan. 1 and July 21, Bernero added $2,950 in late contributions this week.

Meanwhile, former City Councilman Harold Leeman Jr. is second in the mayoral race, bringing in $940 in contributions. Each of the 21 contributions was for $100 or less.

The rest of the candidates on the mayoral ticket — John Boise, Gene Gutierrez-Rodriguez and Donald Krepps — each requested reporting waivers saying they didn’t plan to raise more than $1,000.

In the At-Large City Council race, incumbent Kathie Dunbar and newcomer Judi Brown Clarke are leading the field in contributions. Dunbar has raised $22,760 and Brown Clarke has raised $18,274 in 2013.

Dunbar’s largest contributor is CAP PAC, the political arm of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, which gave $5,000 to her campaign. According to state campaign finance records, the chamber PAC also contributed $2,500 to Brown Clarke’s campaign, though it doesn’t appear in her report filed with the Ingham County Clerk’s Office.

Dunbar also received $1,000 each from local developers Pat Gillespie and Leo Jerome, who is a partner in the Red Cedar Golf Course development. She also received $1,000 each from two staffers working on Bernero’s campaign. Bernero has endorsed Dunbar’s reelection.

More than $7,500 in contributions for Brown Clarke came in the form of loans from her husband, District Judge Hugh Clarke. She also received $250 each from Gillespie and his brother (and also local developer) Scott Gillespie.

Incumbent Brian Jeffries reported $5,000 in contributions this reporting period, which was a loan from himself. Ted O’Dell reported raising just over $4,000 since Jan. 15, which included a $900 loan from himself and $100 from City Councilwoman Jody Washington.

The rest of the At-Large field — Jonathon Smith, Keith Smith and write-in candidate Jeremic Clayborn III — also requested reporting waivers saying they didn’t plan to raise more than $1,000.

In the 4th Ward race, a noticeable difference in contributions between the two leading candidates — incumbent Jessica Yorko and Chong-Anna Canfora — is who sitting Council members are contributing to.

Council members Derrick Quinney, Carol Wood, Washington and Jeffries — all seen as Bernero opponents — contributed a combined $580 towards Canfora’s campaign. (Quinney contributed $150; Jeffries $200; Washington $200; and Wood $30.) Bernero has endorsed Yorko for a second term.

Canfora also landed support from national, statewide and local organized labor political action committees, which add up to more than $6,000 of the $14,840 she raised since Jan. 1.

Yorko raised $15,740 since Jan. 1. Notable contributors include the chamber PAC ($2,500), Pat Gillespie ($500), Jerome ($500) and $1,000 from campaign staffers for Bernero. She also reported another $600 in late contributions that came in this week, including $250 from Bernero and his wife, Teri.

Bert Carrier Jr. and Larry Hutchinson, who round out the 4th Ward ticket, asked for reporting waivers saying they’d raise less than $1,000.