With days to go until the Town Meeting Day election on March 2, records show Mayor Miro Weinberger has maintained his two-to-one fundraising lead over his Progressive challenger, City Council President Max Tracy.
Campaign finance reports filed with the Vermont Secretary of State on Saturday night show the three-term Democrat has raked in $126,147, besting his own record-breaking haul of about $125,500 during the 2018 campaign. He has brought in $40,400 since January 31, the last reporting deadline.
“I am both humbled and grateful to have earned your support,” Weinberger wrote in an email to supporters Saturday evening. “Our fundraising success confirms what I have sensed since we launched our campaign in December, Burlingtonians know these are serious times and this is a critical election.”
Tracy has raised $63,336 total, including $20,895 this reporting period. He's also attracted the most new donors since the last reporting deadline and has the most contributors in the race. A total of 547 people have donated to Tracy’s campaign, while 461 have given to Weinberger and 115 to fellow contender Councilor Ali Dieng (I-Ward 7).
Dieng has raised $10,920 to date, about $3,200 since the last filing date.
Ballots have been mailed to all active, registered Burlington voters, who can turn them in through March 2. There will also be opportunities to vote in-person that day.
The vast majority of Tracy's backers — close to 93 percent — have pledged $100 or less to his campaign. Dieng is a close second using the same metric — 91 percent — while 59 percent of Weinberger’s supporters have given $100 or less.
Weinberger’s bid has also been buoyed by out-of-state contributors. An analysis by Seven Days shows that 25 percent of donors who gave Weinberger more than $100 this reporting period live outside Vermont, including in the Washington, D.C., area and New York City. Out-of-staters gave a total of $7,190 to Weinberger's campaign.
Five of Tracy’s 61 individual donors in that category were from out-of-stateand contributed $1,990, whereas all five of Dieng’s supporters who gave him more than $100 during the same period live in Vermont.
Tracy also had the highest percentage of Burlington residents supporting his campaign, the reports show. His out-of-town support includes donations from Williston residents Jerry Greenfield and Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream fame, who each donated $1,040.
His other notable cash infusions came from the AFL-CIO labor organization ($1,040) and the Vermont NEA Fund for Children and Public Education ($500). A number of longtime activists also pledged funds, including Mark Hughes ($500), Barbara McGrew ($500) and Robin Lloyd ($100).
Weinberger continued to earn support from local property owners and landlords, including Bissonette Properties ($1,000), Rick Davis ($100), Steven Offenhartz ($540) and Jeff Nick ($500).
The mayor has also outspent his competition. Weinberger has shelled out more than $86,000 to date, including $16,000 in television ads — his first time buying TV spots — and more than $10,000 in mailers just this reporting period. That leaves him with close to $47,000 in cash on hand, including nearly $6,800 from his previous campaign.
Tracy has spent close to $47,700 to date, including $3,000 for online advertising and more than $9,800 for brochures since the last filing deadline. He has just over $17,000 cash on hand, including about $1,400 from his last campaign. Dieng ramped up his spending since last month, sinking close to $6,600 into mailers and online fundraising software this reporting period. He has just over $2,300 in cash to spend.
None of the four other candidates in the race — independents Haik Bedrosian, Will Emmons, Kevin McGrath or Patrick White — had filed finance reports by early Sunday afternoon.