Weinberger Raises $86K, Outpacing Tracy in Burlington Mayoral Race | Off Message

Weinberger Raises $86K, Outpacing Tracy in Burlington Mayoral Race


  • File: Courtney Lamdin ©️ Seven Days
  • Mayor Miro Weinberger
Updated on February 1, 2021.

The first campaign finance filings of the Burlington mayoral race show that Democratic incumbent Miro Weinberger has raised about twice as much cash as his Progressive challenger, City Council President Max Tracy.

Weinberger raked in $85,997 from 298 donors, surpassing Tracy's $42,441 fundraising haul. Tracy, however, pulled in 85 more donations than the sitting mayor; the vast majority who gave to Tracy's campaign donated $100 or less.

Fellow mayoral hopeful Ali Dieng, an independent city councilor representing Ward 7, raised $7,721 from 59 donors. The four other independents in the race — Haik Bedrosian, Will Emmons, Kevin McGrath and Patrick White — did not file disclosures.

Weinberger raised about $7,700 more than he had at this point in the race three years ago. Tracy, meanwhile, raised about $9,600 more than had Carina Driscoll, who ran as independent with the Progressive endorsement during the 2018 campaign for mayor.

Driscoll had contributions from 191 donors by the first filing deadline in 2018; with 383 donors, Tracy had twice as many. At this point in 2018, Weinberger had 363 donors.

Weinberger went on to bring in a record haul of about $125,500 in 2018.

All but 37 of Tracy's supporters gave $100 or less. About 130 of Weinberger's 298 donors gave more than $100.

Both campaigns touted their haul in emails Sunday night.

"Your understanding that this is a critical election and commitment to making sure Burlington stays the course through these times of great challenge and opportunity has put us in a very strong position," Weinberger wrote to supporters.

The filings included only money raised through Thursday night, but Tracy's campaign noted in its email that it had raised about $53,000, including donations received in the days since.

“We are running a people-powered campaign where Burlingtonians are coming together to say we are ready for bold, pragmatic, and progressive policies that uplift all," wrote Dylan Cullen, Tracy's campaign manager.

Weinberger's donor list includes several Burlington-area developers, most of whom contributed to the incumbent's previous campaigns. Eric Farrell, Doug Nedde and Russ Scully each gave $1,040. Erik Hoekstra gave $500, while Ernie Pomerleau and his wife, Dee, each chipped in $1,000.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)'s Green Mountain PAC gave $1,000, as did his campaign fundraising committee. Former Vermont governor Howard Dean gave $1,040, as did former U.S. attorney Eric Miller and his wife, Liz Miller. Journalist Garrett Graff gave the same amount.

Weinberger also picked up smaller donations from city councilors Joan Shannon (D-South District) and Chip Mason (D-Ward 5), as well as North District council candidate Mark Barlow.

Tracy earned a donation from Barlow's competitor in the North District, Kienan Christianson ($250), plus contributions from fellow Progressive councilors Zoraya Hightower ($650), Jack Hanson ($700) and Jane Stromberg ($125). Community activists supporting Tracy include Lea Terhune ($1,040), Barbara McGrew ($500), Emma Redden ($200) and Robin Lloyd ($100). Jimmy Leas, an F-35 opponent, gave $534, while fellow anti-F-35 activist Rosanne Greco gave $500.

Dieng earned donations from Alora Goodkind, wife of former Progressive mayoral hopeful Steve Goodkind ($200); former state representative Mark Larson ($250); and Graham Clarke, the retired principal of Burlington's Flynn Elementary School ($1,000).

To date, Weinberger has spent just under $38,360 on postcards, T-shirts, advertising and other expenses. The total includes just under $5,337 in wages, including to campaign manager Samantha Sheehan, who ran Molly Gray's successful campaign for lieutenant governor in the fall.

Tracy has spent $24,301 thus far, including just under $9,960 in campaign staff wages. He's also purchased T-shirts, campaign literature and a Green Mountain Transit bus ad.

Dieng has spent $1,971 on campaign software, a banner and lawn signs. His report also shows an in-kind donation of $333 for a campaign office on North Avenue.

The next filing deadline is February 20. The candidates will face off in a debate moderated by Seven Days and hosted by Town Meeting TV on Friday, February 7 at 5:30 p.m.

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