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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.

Robert Malone, Jr.: Campaign costs have increased because there are so many special interests fighting for a piece of the pie — that demand raises the cost of that pie. As a community, we have to come together to discuss what to do about campaign finance. Like the City of Miami Beach, the City of Miami needs similar campaign finance laws. I can honestly win with $25,000 to $30,000 in campaign contributions. I will be able to do as much as the other candidates, just a lot more efficiently and with a clear conscience. The other campaigns say they will spend upwards of $150,000 to “win” the election. There is a serious disconnect between the other candidates and the problems of District 5. They seem to prefer to talk about who is supporting them with money, instead of offering honest, obtainable solutions to the issues the plague the city. Too often campaigns spend thousands on political consultants who are disconnected from the realities of the community; our campaign is relying on the tremendous work of community coalitions and in-touch, local activists. District 5 voters are more than smart enough to not allow their votes to be bought.

Richard P. Dunn II: I lost to Michelle Spence-Jones in 2005 because I was out-raised and outspent. You have to get your message out. President Obama would not have won had he not been able to raise a comparable amount of money to his opponents. It costs money to win. I have more of an issue with negative campaigning and often you have to raise more money in order to dispel lies and rumors. It will cost between $125K and $175K to win. I have raised over $100K and that will be posted in the next several days. Again, the Obama campaign illustrates the importance of having adequate money in order to run a campaign. You need people on the streets, polling, strategists, public relations people, advertising and mailing. No one does anything for free. Congresswoman Carrie Meek used to say money in a campaign is like a mother’s milk to a baby — it’s a necessity. There are some aberrations where a grassroots worker is able to win despite having very little funds but that’s an exception to the rule. Any formidable candidate has to have some level of competitive fundraising — if not they’re being naive.