Candidates still raising funds to win the big race

Will victory go to the one with the largest war chest?

D. Kevin McNeir | 10/17/2013, 9 a.m.
The District 5 race for City of Miami Commissioner continues to have its ebbs and flows, with one of the ...
From top Left: Jacquette Colyer, Keon Hardemon, Richard P. Dunn II and Robert Malone, Jr.

The District 5 race for City of Miami Commissioner continues to have its ebbs and flows, with one of the final debates of the campaign season scheduled for Thurs., Oct. 17 at the Hadley Park Community Center [1350 NW 50th Street] beginning at 6 p.m. But one thing that’s on the minds of each candidate is how to get more people to vote for them. That means they have to make sure voters know who they are and for what they stand. And in these days and times, that costs money — and a lot of it.

Money Talks

Jacquette Colyer

Cash & Checks: $17,248.00

Loans: $17,500.00

Total Monetary: $34,748.00

In-Kind: $0.00

As of Sept. 30, 2013

Keon Hardemon

Cash & Checks: $51, 404.00

Loans: $0.00

Total Monetary: $51,404.00

In-Kind: $250.00

As of Sept. 27th, 2013

Robert Malone, Jr.

Cash & Checks: $9,025.00

Loans: $100.00

Total Monetary: $ 8,875.00

In-Kind: $150.00

As of Sept. 27th, 2013

Richard P. Dunn II

Cash & Checks: $11,050

Loans: $0.00

Total Monetary: $ 11,050.00

In-Kind: $0.00

As of June 30th, 2013

Even the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing cases in the current session related to campaign finance. Yes, campaign costs have skyrocketed — just consider that for his 2008 presidential run, Barack Obama allegedly spent $750M and over $4 billion was spent collectively in the 2012 presidential campaign. Closer to home, some have wondered how the District 5 candidates are doing both in terms of raising money and how wisely they’re spending it.

Our review of financial information posted by the City of Miami Board of Elections website indicates that Keon Hardemon leads the four candidates with $51,404 total monetary, followed by Jacquetta “Jacqui” Colyer with $34,748 total monetary; Richard P. Dunn II $11,050 total monetary; and Robert Malone, Jr., $8,875 total monetary.

Here’s what they’re saying about the costs of campaigning.

Jacqui Colyer: Campaign cost has risen over the years just like the cost of living. Financing a successful campaign is important because it gives you the resources to deliver your message to the people. At a recent forum, I indicated that I would spend whatever it takes to win because this election is far too important to the people in this community. This district needs an experienced leader they can trust. I have been serving this district for over 25 years and know it has the potential to be great once more. So I plan to knock on every door and spend every cent necessary to ensure we have the future we deserve. This election is about hard work, dedication and commitment to a community and money is no substitute for hard work.

Keon Hardemon: Campaign costs have spiraled out of control for local races. The costs are high mainly due to marketing costs such as newspaper advertisements, printing, radio advertisements, mailers, and television commercials. I support current campaign laws that require disclosure of sources of campaign contributions and expenditures, but I would like to see strict limits on the total amount a candidate can raise or spend for a local campaign. Limiting the amount a candidate can raise and spend would allow the candidates more time to knock on the doors of the residents as opposed to meeting with influential donors. There have been many examples where the candidate that raised the most money did not win the election. I do not think that it costs lots of money win. However, I believe that it costs lost of money to spread the message that a campaign wants the community to know. Advertising and printing costs can be tremendously high. However, those costs are necessary if a campaign wants its messaging to be consistent throughout the community.