As we reported on Monday, Art Fierro failed to file his latest campaign report on time. It appeared on Monday morning on the city’s website. Looking at the “date received” and the “date processed” dates on the filed report we know that Fierro filed his report close to midnight on Sunday after we alerted his campaign that the reports were due Friday, not on Monday as the Fierro campaign told us. Additionally, although we were told erroneously by the campaign that the reports were due on Monday because the city’s offices were closed on Friday, the filing shows that the Friday deadline was correct and the reports can be filed even if the city is closed.
In reviewing Fierro’s report, we confirmed that the Brian Kennedy campaign has spent the most in the runoff election. As originally reported, Kennedy has spent $42,298.34. Although we reported on Monday that J.P. Bryan had stayed out of the runoff election, we found a $6,000 campaign contribution from him to Art Fierro.
As we reported on Monday, incumbent Claudia Rodriguez raised $40,200 and has spent $38,073.14. In comparison, Fierro raised $31,000 from 67 contributors. He has spent $31,517.47. Fierro also reported carrying a loan of $17,168.15. Fierro’s loan to his campaign is the second largest loan in this election cycle. Kennedy has loaned his campaign $51,000.
The district 6 runoff has been marred by a partisan character not normally found in El Paso city council elections. The El Paso County Democratic Party issued a press release “urging voters not to support” the incumbent. The local party previously refrained from involving itself in municipal elections as the elections are non-partisan but chose to do so this election cycle.
The El Paso Democratic Party’s involvement in the election resulted in long-time Democratic Party members fundraising for Fierro. In addition to party officials like, Belen Robles ($50), Luis Aguilar ($200), Carmen Rodríguez ($150) & Jose Rodríguez ($500), Inocente Quintanilla ($100), Eliot Shapleigh ($400), Elisa Tamayo ($100) and Cesar Blanco ($1,000) other notable contributions to Fierro included $1,500 from Douglas and Scott Schwartz of the Southwest Land Development company and Brian Kennedy who is running against Analisa Silverstein for the district 1 seat. Kennedy contributed $1,000 to Fierro’s campaign.
In addition to the large Blanco, Bryan, Kennedy and Schwartz campaign contributions, Fierro also received a $3,000 contribution from Lisa Leeser, Oscar Leeser’s ex-wife and another $3,000 from the Texas Freedom Network PAC. The Texas Realtors PAC also contributed $2,500 to Fierro’s campaign. These contributions accounted for 42% of Fierro’s total contributions going into the runoff.
One campaign contribution made to Fierro was $100 from Ramiro Guzman. Guzman is a long-time political operative for the Democratic Party. In 2009, Guzman pleaded guilty to bribery for bribing school officials for a school contract.
As with the other candidates, Fierro’s largest expense was for printing services. Fierro spent $14,754.11 on advertising, slightly less than the incumbent spent. Fierro also spent $5,615 for canvassers.
Election Day is Saturday, December 17. Early voting ends today.
Disclosure: Candidate Claudia Rodriguez contracted technical support from the author’s technology company. These services are provided separately from the publication and have no influence on our reporting.