With just under two months to go before the primary election, the five candidates for mayor are already on pace to set records for campaign spending.
Collectively, the group has raised nearly $1.4 million and spent more than $542,000, according to reports all of the campaings have filed with the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission. The top fundraiser — and biggest spender — is Mayor Jim Suttle, who brought in $364,777 last year and spent $242,642.
City Council member Jean Stothert is the challenger with the biggest bank account. She’s raised $335,998 and spent $95,267.
Other candidates’ reports:
Dan Welch has raised $282,722 and spent $54,610.
Dave Nabity has raised $274,331 and spent $102,913.
Brad Ashford has raised $161,744 and spent $47,164.
Election watchers believe the big money trend will continue through the campaign, and after the top two candidates emerge out of April’s primary election.
“It’s obvious we’re going to break all spending records for a mayor’s race. That goes without saying,” said Paul Landow, a political science professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.