In the District D City Council race, Eugene Green leads in spending and Mariah Moore leads in campaign contributions
There’s a crowded field of 14 candidates jostling to win the City Council seat for District D in the upcoming election, but none of them appear to have an overwhelming advantage in terms of campaign spending, according to the latest campaign finance reports filed the Louisiana Ethics Administration Program.
The reports, filed on Oct. 14, show that the candidates have raised over $145,000 in donations and spent over $160,000. Eugene Green is the biggest spender in the race with over $40,000 in campaign expenditures, followed by Timolynn Sams, Mariah Moore, and Mark Lawes. Green has mostly had to rely on his own green, however, as he’s loaned himself $58,000 to fund the race.
The candidates who have raked in the most donations are Mariah Moore with over $54,000 in contributions, followed by Sams again and Mark “Johari” Lawes.
The seat for District D is wide open as current Councilman Jared Brossett is term-limited and running for one of the at-large seats in the Council. Those plans may be in jeopardy, however, as Brossett was arrested Monday on drunken driving charges.
To find out who’s funding each of the candidates in the District D race, read on.
Eugene Green’s biggest benefactor is himself, as he’s funding his campaign largely with a loan of $58,000 that he gave to himself on June 28. A Realtor and the former chief of staff for Congressman William Jefferson, Green told Gentilly Messenger that his first priority would be building more affordable housing in New Orleans.
Green also raised $13,925 in campaign donations from 29 sources. His biggest donations were:
- $2,500 from the company Skyward Transportation
- $1,000 each from Matrix Advertising, LLC and LawCo UA PLLC. Both companies listed the same Fort Lauderdale address in the campaign disclosure form and also share an office in Gentilly at 1421 Frankfort Street.
- $1,000 from Richard C. Lambert Consultants, an engineering and architecture consulting firm in Mandeville
- $1,000 from Liberty Bank and Trust
- $1,000 from Louis Colin
- $1,000 from Durrell Laurent, who ran against Green in 2019 for a seat in the state House of Representatives (both lost to Matthew Willard)
Green, who holds an economics degree from Harvard and an M.B.A. from Tulane, must have learned the value of big spending. His expenses total $40,008.26, including $13,691.11 that went to Printers Wholesale Group, $7,905 to Orgena Enterprises for advertising, $6,093 to Brown Public Relations for advertising, and $4,000 to Sandra Green Thomas for outreach.
Timolynn “Tim” Sams
Coming in second to Green in spending is Tim Sams, who has spent $34,822.62 on the race so far and raised $40,428 in political contributions from 154 sources. She also loaned herself $1,286.82, leaving her with $6,892.20 cash on hand.
Sams is an executive at the charter school network InspireNOLA, which includes McDonogh 35 High School in Gentilly. She also hosts the radio talk show Pumps, Pearls and Politics, which focuses on issues that affect women of color in the Deep South.
The biggest contributors to Sams’ campaign were:
- $2,500 from Pfizer Inc., with an address listed in Memphis, Tennessee.
- $2,500 from R.X. Fogarty of Salt Lake City, Utah
- $2,500 from insurance agent Ben Guillory
- $2,500 from Kevin Wilkins, founder and managing director of the business consulting firm Trepwise
Other notable contributions include $2,249 from Onyx Media Group in Miami and $1,500 from Elizabeth Monaghan of Uptown.
Sams’ biggest expenses are consulting fees: $6,056.25 for communications consulting with Kelder Summers, $5,000 for campaign finance consulting with KMM Consulting and $4,500 to KGW Consultancy LLC for field consulting.
Social justice activist Mariah Moore is a national organizer at the Transgender Law Center and executive director of the House of Tulip, an organization that is raising funds to build a shelter and community center for transgender people. One of her campaign priorities is affordable housing, she told Gentilly Messenger. If elected, she would be the second openly transgender woman elected to political office in Louisiana, after Peyton Rose Michelle of Breaux Bridge.
Moore has put her experience in fundraising and organizing to good use, as she’s brought in $54,120.71 in political contributions from 226 sources, the most donations of any candidate in the District D race. 164 of those donors gave $200 or less.
The contributors who donated the maximum amount, $2,500, were:
- Chris Abele, formerly the county executive of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, donated $2,500 in April and another $1,205 in September. Moore’s campaign manager, Vincenzo Pasquantonio, told Uptown Messenger that the second donation, which exceeds campaign contribution limits, was made in error and the campaign refunded it. Abele is chair of the One Victory Board, which is part of the Victory Fund, an organization devoted to supporting LGBTQ candidates like Moore.
- Jadore Ross of New Orleans East
- Molly Gochman of Houston, Texas
- Kim Coco Iwamoto of Honolulu, a former member of the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission and the first openly transgender person to win state office in Hawaii.
- Brandi Jarrow of New Orleans East, a hairstylist who was the subject of the short documentary, “A Fine Girl”
Moore also gave herself $2,900 in March, which was classified in the campaign finance documents as a contribution, and $1,600 in July, which was classified as a loan.
Her biggest expenses include $14,654.08 to Red Cypress Consulting; $8,000 to her campaign manager Vincenzo Pasquantonio; $1,650 to Bruce Gallassero for campaign compliance and reporting services; and $1,320.21 to ActBlue in service charges for online donations and access to campaign software. After $31,275.07 in expenses, she’s left with $25,135.07 cash on hand.
Mark “Johari” Lawes
Mark Lawes, owner of Half Shell on the Bayou restaurant, brought in $23,488 in campaign contributions from 62 sources and loaned himself $50,000. Lawes is father to two state troopers and two NOPD officers, according to his campaign website, and says that he supports community policing and increasing economic opportunities.
His top contributor was Ray Landry of Gonzales, who gave $2,500. He also got $1,500 each from Keith Saia of Elmwood; Lenora Marrows, whose address matches Morrow’s Restaurant in Marigny (this could be Morrow’s co-owner Lenora Chong, who ran Lenora’s Grill in Pontchartrain Park); Dustin Ebanks, owner of the Macro Group behavioral health center of Monroe; and Harold Cade of Metairie.
His top expense was a fundraising golf tournament he held in July, which cost $3,156.08 in fees paid to the city and $991 for refreshments. Other major expenses include $3,103.46 to Good Looks Creative LLC for campaign signs, and $2,000 to Buisson Creative for campaign brochures. After $21,910.80 in expenses, he’s left with $51,577.20 in cash on hand.
The remaining 10 candidates have raised a little over $15,000, but they have supported the city’s economy — especially the printing and yard sign industry — by spending more than $34,000. Here’s the breakdown of their bank accounts:
- Chelsea Ardoin, the only Republican in the race, has raised $5,740 from seven contributors, including $500 from Echolstar Investments of Monroe; $2,500 from Phillips Capital Inc. in Miramar Beach, Florida; and $2,500 from Ryan Phillips of Destin, Florida. She also loaned $1,518.31 to her campaign. Her expenses totaled $4,913.53, and she has $2,344.78 cash on hand.
- Chantrisse Burnett has raised $2,385 from 17 contributors. Her top contributors were David Selders with $600, Joseph Bruno with $500, Rachel Lockhart with $250, and Jason Hughes with $250. She also loaned herself $1,655. Her expenses were $2,595.41, leaving her with $1,44.59 in cash on hand.
- Morgan Clevenger, president of the Fairgrounds Triangle Neighborhood Association, received $6,250 in donations from six contributors, including $2,500 from Alan Greenacre of Columbia, Mississippi, and $2,500 from her mother, restaurateur JoAnn Clevenger. She also loaned herself $22,000. Her expenses were $12,044, leaving her with $16,206 cash on hand.
- Robert “Bob” Murray, whose brother Ed Murray is a former state senator, has received no donations but made a $25,000 loan to himself. He spent $3,000 on consulting fees to Johnson Consulting, $3,000 to NOLA Copy for pamphlets and fliers, and $5,000 to Wholesale Printers for billboards and signs, leaving him with $14,000 cash on hand.
- Keith “KP” Parker had two contributors, Eric Terrell ($500) and Ashante Robinson of Hammond, Louisiana ($40). He spent $2,243.98 on his website, yard signs, and T-shirts and other campaign paraphernalia, leaving him with negative $1,703.98 cash on hand.
- Kourtney Youngblood received $665 from eight donors. Her largest donation was $200 from Samantha Youngblood of Baton Rouge. She spent $1,1367.27 on yard signs, posters and postcards, leaving her with negative $702.27 cash on hand.
- Updated campaign finance reports were not available online for Anthony Doby, Troy Glover, Dulaine Troy Vining or Kevin Griffin-Clark.
Reporter Sharon Lurye can be reached at email@example.com.