Dayton Mayor candidates spent nearly $500k

Dayton Mayor-elect Nan Whaley this year ran the city’s second most expensive campaign for mayor ever, spending about $12,000 less than former Mayor Mike Turner’s unsuccessful re-election effort in 2001, according to campaign finance reports filed on Friday with the Montgomery County Board of Election.

In November Whaley defeated fellow Democrat A.J. Wagner, a former Montgomery County common pleas judge and auditor.

“We had over 900 donors and we are proud of that and proud of the cross-section of support,” Whaley said. “I really do believe that people believe in the power of mayor and (that the mayor) can be a progressive voice for a community and an area.”

Wagner could not be reached for comment.

Whaley raised $364,969 and spent $411,656, according to reports filed beginning in January 2013. She spent more than she took in because of carry-over amounts from 2012.

Wagner raised $122,190 and spent $140,888 during the same period. His report includes $10,000 loans from Zafar Rizvi of Butler Twp. and Michael Oberer of Washington Twp.

Together the two candidates raised $487,159 in cash and spent $552,544. By comparison, spending for the the Turner-Rhine McLin match totaled $770,000.

But while that 2001 race still wins as far as overall spending, using another measure, Whaley may very well have run the city’s most expensive mayoral bid for a single candidate. “In-kind” contributions - which are services or things of value, such as production cost for mailers or food donated for events provided to a campaign - save the campaign from having to spend money on those items and services. If the value of those in-kind contributions are included with Whaley’s total cash contributions she easily tops Turner’s spending in the 2001 race, with $532,640 in expenditures and in-kind contributions.

Reports from the 2001 race are not available at the board of elections but a Dayton Daily News story from the time says Turner had $40,000 worth of in-kind contributions on top of the $$424,000 he spent. But is not clear if that $40,000 was for the entire campaign or just the post-general election campaign finance report.

Turner, a Dayton Republican, followed the loss with a race for Congress in 2002, winning a seat he still holds. McLin was unseated as mayor by current Mayor Gary Leitzell in 2009.

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