Mayoral candidate Mark Andrew outraises in home stretch

Candidates and independent groups reported their financial info for the last time Tuesday.

Mayoral candidate Mark Andrew outraises in home stretch

Alexi Gusso

With less than a week before Election Day, candidates for mayor, City Council and other city government offices submitted their final campaign finance reports on Tuesday, showing how much they’ve raised and spent.

Mayoral candidate Mark Andrew raised about $420,000, putting him in the lead for campaign fundraising in Minneapolis.

“Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we will continue to connect with voters across Minneapolis in the final days of this election,” Andrew said in a press release Monday.

Andrew, a former Hennepin County Commissioner, spent about $363,000 and has nearly $57,000 left on hand.

Earlier this month, three different independent committees formed to support mayoral contenders Betsy Hodges, Jackie Cherryhomes and Andrew. These groups cannot give money directly to campaigns, but they may spend an unlimited amount on campaign mailings, advertisements and other field efforts. Individual donors can contribute up to $500 to mayoral campaigns, according to election guidelines.

Kate Brickman, co-chair of the Hodges-supporting Committee for a Greater Minneapolis, said the committee was formed to “complement” the work of the candidate’s campaign. The group has raised $38,600, mostly from a labor union that endorsed Hodges.

“We knew that Betsy would be outspent by other candidates, so we wanted to do what we could to amplify her vision,” Brickman said.

Brickman said the Committee for a Greater Minneapolis expects to raise around $50,000 by the end of the election.

The Andrew-supporting Coalition for a Better Minneapolis raised $136,500, nearly triple the contributions from the group supporting Hodges. The money mostly came from unions.

So far, the group supporting Andrew has spent almost $100,000, about half on television ads.

Brickman said her group isn’t planning to spend money on television commercials and is instead focusing on other forms of advertising.

The group has spent $19,830 so far, mostly on campaign mailings, and Brickman said they’re still considering how to spend the rest of the money.

Cherryhomes is supported by an independent group called Minneapolis Forward, but as of press time the group had not filed a finance report.

Cam Gordon, who represents some University of Minnesota-area neighborhoods as Ward 2 councilman, said he doesn’t agree with independent expenditure groups helping candidates. The groups lack accountability, he said.

“[They allow] a few wealthy people to have an enormous influence over our election system,” said Gordon, who chairs the council’s Committee on Elections.

The candidate committees will continue raising funds until the Nov. 5 election.

Cohen reported raising almost $336,000, the vast majority of which is his own money.

He’s spent just more than $327,000 so far, mostly on television and print advertisements, and he currently has about $8,500 left on hand.

City councilwoman Betsy Hodges’ most recent campaign finance reports weren’t available at press time, but the Star Tribune reported she had raised about $285,000.

Ward 3

Attorney Jacob Frey is running to replace two-term incumbent Diane Hofstede to represent City Council Ward 3, which covers Marcy-Holmes and Dinkytown.

According to the recent campaign finance reports, Frey’s campaign raised about $90,000, and he lent himself another $10,000.

Frey said nearly 700 individual donors contributed between $25 and $300 to his campaign efforts.

“The main highlight of the campaign finance report is the number of people that have contributed,” he said. “We know we have all the momentum right now.”

The candidate has spent nearly $59,000 and has $53,164 remaining.

Hofstede’s latest campaign finance report wasn’t submitted to Hennepin County Elections by press time.

During the last filing period, which ended in late August, she reported raising almost $30,000.

Kristina Gronquist, who is running with the Green Party, has raised nearly $3,500 and has spent $1,230 so far this election.

Michael Katch, a Libertarian candidate running in the ward, didn’t file campaign finance reports.