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Jennifer Roberts Is Outraising, Outspending Her Competitors

Nick de la Canal
Mayor Jennifer Roberts (center) at a city council meeting in June, seated next to city council members and mayoral candidates Kenny Smith (left) and Vi Lyles (right).

Mayor Jennifer Roberts is leading both her Democratic and Republican rivals in fundraising efforts and campaign spending. According to finance reports filed on Friday, Roberts' campaign has raised roughly $370,000 for the upcoming election, well ahead of Democratic challengers Vi Lyles ($223,000) and Joel Ford ($212,000), and Republican challenger Kenny Smith ($263,000).

The reports only include contributions made up to June 30, and the Roberts campaign says it has since surpassed $400,000 as of mid-July.

The bulk of Roberts' money is coming from individual contributions, though $11,200 of her funds are by way of political action committees, including $5,200 from Human Rights Campaign PAC. State Sen. Ford, meanwhile, has received $13,600 from political committees, and Mayor Pro Tem Lyles just $1,800. Political committees have donated $8,000 to Council Member Smith.

Finance reports also show Roberts is spending more aggressively than her opponents. As of June 30, Roberts had spent roughly $154,000 compared with Lyles at $119,000, Ford at $116,000, and Smith at $31,000.

While Smith has spent the least, he's saved up the most. The council member has amassed roughly $308,000 in the bank, with $66,000 of that left over from previous campaigns.

The reports show that this year's mayoral race is on track to surpass the last mayoral election in terms of fundraising. At this point in the 2015 election - when Roberts was seeking her first bid for the mayor's office - she was leading the pack with $302,000 raised.

Finance reports for four other candidates seeking the mayor's office had not been made public as of Saturday. Those include Democrats Lucille Puckett and Constance Partee Johnson, and Republicans Kimberly Barnett and Gary Dunn.

Nick de la Canal is an on air host and reporter covering breaking news, arts and culture, and general assignment stories. His work frequently appears on air and online. Periodically, he tweets: @nickdelacanal