WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Incumbent Wilmington City Councilman Charlie Rivenbark has raised nearly three times more money than his next closest opponent in an effort to retain his seat on council.
Reports filed at the beginning of the month with the New Hanover County Board of Elections show Rivenbark has raised more than $25,000 during this election period, with several donations coming in from a fundraiser held in late September. No other candidate for council has raised more than $10,000, according to available reports. Some notable donors to Rivenbark's campaign include New Hanover County Board of Education Member Bruce Shell and fellow Councilman Neal Anderson.
Other office holders making contributions include outgoing Councilman Earl Sheridan, who has thrown his financial support to candidate Clifford Barnett. New Hanover County Commissioner Rob Zapple donated to incumbent Councilman Kevin O'Grady's campaign. Local realtor Hansen Matthews contributed to four of the nine campaigns for council, with donations to Rivenbark ($250), Barnett ($100), Deb Hays ($100) and Kevin O'Grady ($100). Only three people will be elected to council in November.
Candidate James Ray pledged to not raise nor spend more than $1000 during the election period, which makes him exempt from having to file a report. Candidate Caylan Mackay originally signed that pledge, but withdrew it on October 12th, according to public records. Mackay's 35 day report was not available on the Board of Elections website.
(Information from 35 Day Reports filed with the New Hanover County Board of Elections.)
The race for Wilmington Mayor is notable for the lack of money being raised or spent on the race so far. Incumbent Mayor Bill Saffo has raised $1,000 based on a single donation from Tim Milam at Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty. Saffo's opponent, Todd Zola, is listed as delinquent with the Board of Elections. He has not filed any of the required organizational paperwork to run for office.
Candidates will be required to file an updated report at the end of the month.