Salisbury candidates make final campaign disclosures

Mayoral candidate Jake Day only added slightly to his huge war chest in the final weeks of the campaign, but somewhere in all that fundraising and spending $764.85 can’t be accounted for.

Within official and final campaign finance reports filed Dec. 22 with the City Clerk’s Office, Day’s treasurer, Jordan A. Gilmore, attached a letter that stated:

“Although our accounting of contributions and expenditures to date indicates that we should have a remaining balance of $10,840.74, the actual balance in our campaign account is only $10,075.89.”

“We are trying to determine whether it was a bank error, contribution(s) that were recorded but never deposited for some reason, or (most likely) a simple accounting error.”

The letter also contained an apology, as the campaign finance report — signed both by Gilmore and Day on Dec. 22 — was filed four days late. In accordance with election rules, the Day campaign paid the city a $40 fine for the deadline failure.

The attachment also said that, as treasurer, Gilmore will work to figure out the discrepancy and file an updated statement.

Day’s winning campaign raised a Salisbury-record $24,910 in contributions, the bulk of which came in late summer and early fall at private events hosted by the councilman.

Day’s campaign was the only one to miss the second filing period deadline of 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 18. The new reports cover activity in October, November and December.

Whether they’re winners or losers, Salisbury candidates are required to disburse any remaining campaign balances. With his eye firmly on future politics, Day sent nearly $11,000 in remaining campaign money to two political entities: $6,000 went to to “Jake Day for Maryland” and $4,075.89 to “New Day for Maryland PAC.” The political action committee affiliation will allow Day to contribute donated money to political causes or candidates.

Day’s big second-period expenditures occurred on election night, where the campaign spent $2,002.50 at Headquarters Live and $1,499.90 at Roadie Joe’s, both in Downtown Salisbury.

In the District 1 City Council race, Shanie Shields reported $2,485 in new contributions. Her largest expense was campaign signs and rack cards.

Shields, who lost her re-election bid, ultimately donated her $914.48 balance to seven nonprofits working with youth, including Chipman Foundation, Wesley Temple, Operation We Care, West Salisbury Elementary School and Pemberton Elementary School.

District 1 winner April Jackson donated her $26.82 balance to the Salisbury Advisory Council for Youth Activities; third-place finisher Sarah Halcott gave her remaining $96.13 to the Art Institute & Gallery in Downtown Salisbury.

District 2 winner Muir Boda reported $39.61 in unused funds, which he gave to Salisbury Neighborhood Housing.

There were four candidates in the District 2 contest: Keyvan Aarabi reported raising and spending no money; Marvin Ames and Justin Gregoli reported that they raised less than the $600 required for disclosure statement filings.

Jack Heath, the District 3 winner who was later elected City Council President by his peers, reported no new donations, though he and his wife reported lending the campaign $1,250. Heath contributed $1,751.20 toward the election night event held at Headquarters Live.

His $1,495 campaign balance was distributed to the Salisbury Zoo, The Joseph House and Operation We Care, with $500 of that amount going to Lower Shore Enterprises, where Heath formerly served as executive director.

Heath’s prime challenger, Tim Spies, wrote in his earlier report “this (campaign is) on me” and his final filing reflected that spirit. Spies reported spending $823.62 on the election effort, all of it self-funded.

Third-place finisher Kevin Lindsay reported $370 in new donations; his biggest expenditure was a $301.15 dinner at Tokyo Steak House held for campaign volunteers.

Salisbury mayor-turned-councilman Jim Ireton reported $60 in new donations in District 4. His campaign spent $254.04 at Roadie Joe’s on election night.

Ireton’s $400 campaign balance was split three ways, with $133.32 going to Wicomico High School Softball, Tri-County Mediation and the Wicomico County Library Homework Help Center.

At a late-November council session, Ireton had publicly encouraged his colleagues to support the Homework Help Center with their fund balances, using the occasion to poke fun at his successor Day’s sizeable campaign account.

Ireton challenger Roger Mazullo reported $790 in last-minute donations; his report declared no cash balance in the election account.

Laura Mitchell, who was unopposed in District 5, reported raising less than $600 required for a disclosure statement.

 

Greg Bassett is editor and general manager of Salisbury Independent. Reach him at gbassett@newszap.com

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