City Hall

Mike Rawlings is Drowning in Cash, Bobby Abtahi Laps the Field, and Other Campaign Fundraising News

Yesterday was the deadline for state and local candidates to report their fundraising totals for the last six months of 2012, which meant a flurry of last-minute clicks on the City Secretary's website. The reported figures first real glimpse at candidates' fundraising prowess and a suggestion of which candidates are gaining traction leading up to the May 11 municipal elections. Here's what you need to know.

Rawlings has a lot of very wealth friends: Rumor has it that Mayor Mike Rawlings will not seek a second term. That didn't prevent him from stockpiling an eye-popping $391,440 from, as the Morning News' Rudy Bush put it, "the kind of folks you might meet at a really, really nice party in Preston Hollow."

Actually, Bush left out a "really." Rawlings' list of donors reads like a who's who of Dallas' business and civic elite: Ross Perot, Sr., Harold Simmons, T. Boone Pickens all gave generously. Local heavyweights like Ruth Althsuler Lucy Billingsley, Margaret McDermott also opened their wallets.

The question, of course, is what Rawlings needs all that money for. He gave himself $180,000 to repay loans he'd made to his campaign. For other answers, we'll just have to wait and see.

Bobby Abtahi raises more than his opponents -- combined: Former Plan Commissioner Bobby Abtahi turned in his fundraising totals a bit early, announcing in a press release that his campaign raised more than $60,000.

Turns out, he has reason to boast. Abtahi's total is more than double that of attorney Philip Kingston, who has Hunt's endorsement and pulled in $26,306.73. Third place went to Jim Rogers, who's been in the race since Hunt opted not to run for mayor in 2011 and formally announced his candidacy last week. He got $20,369.81. The laggard in the race is Greenland Hills Neighborhood Association president Judy Liimatainen, who managed to rake in a $2,000 loan. From herself.

Adam Medrano is still jogging: District 2 resident Herschel Weisfeld announced his intention to replace term-limited Councilwoman Pauline Medrano way back in September. His expected opponent was -- and still is -- Adam Medrano, Pauline's nephew. Problem is, he works for the city and would have to resign once he officially enters the race. So in lieu of filing official paperwork, his aunt has been dropping not-so-subtle hints, like this birthday card sent to constituents in September:

Weisfeld raised just shy of $10,000. Medrano, officially at least, has raised nada. The deadline for entering the race is March 1.

Other races: Jennifer Gates, aka Roger Staubach's daughter, pulled in $23,850 in her bid to replace Ann Margolin. That's a bit more than rival Leland Burk, who pulled in $19,474.55. And way more than perennial gadfly Richard Sheridan, who raised nada.

Former Park Board member Lee Kleinman, who is eying Linda Koop's District 11 seat, has an opponent in -- and was just barely outraised by -- Ori Raphael, a staffer for U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions.

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson

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