May 2, 2013 10:09:18 AM
A look at the campaign finance reports from the Columbus primary election next Tuesday shows a noticeable disparity in contributions made to candidates.
The deadline for candidates who are running opposed in the primary was Tuesday. The deadline for candidates in the general election to file reports is May 28.
Incumbent Ward 4 councilman Fred Stewart, who is running for a sixth term, received a total of $1,050 in itemized contributions and reported $2,714.57 in disbursements. He received $500 from Columbus-Lowndes Political Action Committee, $400 from Mt. Zion Baptist Church and a total of $150 from residents.
Parties who contribute $200 or more must be listed in the finance report per Federal Election Commission guidelines.
Challenger Marty Turner received $3,565 -- $2,503 in itemized and $1,062 in non-itemized donations. He reported that same amount in disbursements. Local steel worker Lathan Turner of Superior Erectors contributed $500, while local resident Doug Turner is listed as contributing $200. Local attorney Scott Colom donated $694, while Anthony Gandy of M&M Construction contributed $200. Mississippi HomeCare employee Tiffany Sturdivant donated $629. Tony Young, whose place of residence and occupation are not specified, is listed as contributing $280.
Fellow challenger Maurice Webber reported no donations and $562.55 in disbursements.
In Ward 5, incumbent Kabir Karriem reported $4,700 in itemized and $175 in non-itemized contributions for a total of $4,875. He reported $2,230.89 in disbursements. He is listed as donating $3,000 to his own campaign. Joey Hudnall and Kevin Stafford of Neel-Schaffer each donated $200. Stafford is also the city engineer for Columbus. Crawford Mayor Fred Tolon donated $200, while attorney David Owen donated $300. Kendra Gray of K Gray Financial Services also donated $300, while Meridian resident Meghan Yerby contributed $500.
Kenneth McFarland, Karriem's opponent, received $2,513 -- $1,800 in itemized and $713 in non-itemized donations. He reported that same figure in disbursements. Pastor Cleveland McFarland of Mobile, Ala. donated $1,000, while Columbus-based Castle Properties gave $800.
Ward 6 incumbent Bill Gavin received $1,050 --all in itemized donations -- and reported $877 in disbursements. He received $200 from Stafford and $400 from city attorney Jeff Turnage. Columbus resident Bill Russell also contributed $200.
Whirllie Byrd reported $3,416.78 in campaign finances, with $2,050 of that total itemized and the remaining $1,346.78 non-itemized. She reported $2,573.18 in disbursements. She donated the entire portion of the itemized donation to her campaign.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
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