Update: Schor heads to primary election with $200K cash advantage

Latest reports show personal debt fuels top challengers’ mayoral campaigns

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TUESDAY, July 27 — Reports show that Lansing Mayor Andy Schor has outraised his top two political challengers by more than $200,000 with only one week to go until the primary election.

The latest campaign finance reports show that Schor raised about $180,000 and spent about $125,000 in the last seven months in his bid for a second term. All told, he’s headed nto Tuesday's election  with about $234,000 cash on hand — up from $180,000 reported on Dec. 31.

City Council members and leading mayoral challengers Kathie Dunbar and Patricia Spitzley were next in line, having  raised about $29,000 and $18,000, respectively, since January. Both of their campaigns also tracked expenses of about $16,000 each this campaign cycle. 

Dunbar’s reports show a cash balance of about $13,000. Spitzley has about $3,300. And neither of them has leaned heavily on individual donations. Reports show that both are relying on personal loans: Spitzley loaned her campaign $10,000. Dunbar pitched in $18,000, reports show.

The latest reports also show that local activist Farhan Sheikh-Omar has only raised about $1,600 in donations since January and has largely bankrolled his own campaign through a loan of about $9,300, leaving him with  about $360 in the coffers ahead of Election Day.

Challengers Melissa Huber and Larry Hutchinson Jr. have waivers that indicated they intended to raise and spend less than $1,000 this election cycle, negating the legal need for reports.

Both Spitzley and Dunbar were dinged last week for falling out of compliance with state election law after submitting incomplete campaign finance reports to Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum.

Among the issues: Spitzley failed to list contact and employment information for several donors who contributed more than $100. And until today, Dunbar had failed to report a single donation from anyone over the last several months, only filing a cover letter with her latest reports.

A full listing of donations and expenditures for Dunbar’s campaign was filed this morning. Spitzley hasn’t returned calls and has yet to file any amended reports with the Clerk’s Office.

A letter sent to Byrum, however, noted that Spitzley is tracking down the missing details. 

“I had trouble with my PayPal reporting and could not get a complete reporting that included contact information for those who donated via PayPal,” Spitzley wrote. “I have reached out to those who donated to get the required contact information and will submit a revised report.”

She added: “However, I wanted to submit the report as complete as possible.”

Byrum said neither will face fines because their reports — regardless of their accuracy — were filed in a timely manner. Schor doesn’t appear to have any issues within the hundreds of pages of his latest finance reports, but Byrum said those will also be reviewed for accuracy this week.

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