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Monday, December 7, 2009

Metro Race Heats Up, Rex Aims to Raise $100,000

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Mon, Dec 7, 2009 at 11:30 AM

The race to replace Metro Council President David Bragdon is heating up. Today candidate Rex Burkholder sent out a press release taking a swipe his at his competitor's cash flow. "BURKHOLDER HOLDS SOLID LEAD IN FUNDRAISING," reads the announcement's headline. Rex's campaign has raised $84,114 and has $74,817 cash on hand while his competitor, former 1000 Friends of Oregon Director Bob Stacey, has raised $69,856 and has $49,502 currently in cash. Burkholder's campaign just opened an office downtown and is aiming to raise $100,000 by the end of the year.

Rex Burkholder at the 2009 Alice Awards
  • Rex Burkholder at the 2009 Alice Awards

A big chunk of Burkholder's lead comes thanks to Pearl District developer and former "Sultan of the Streetcar" John Carroll, who donated $10,000 to the campaign. Donations of $5,000 also come from developer John Russell, bike lawyer Ray Thomas and wealthy pro-tax activist Jody Wiser.

Another notable contribution is 1,000 bucks from Pearl District developer Mark Edlen. So are most of Rex's supporters big developers? "Not at all," says campaign manager Caroline Fitchett. "If you looks at his endorsement list, Rex has a broad base of support from across the region."

Stacey's top contributors are more of a mixed bag than Burkholder's and have individually given much less. For example, top contributor Christine Vernier runs a Beaverton computing company and gave Stacey $2,500 contributor while $2,000 donor Charles J. Swindells is a former US ambassador to New Zealand. Oregon wine magnate Eric Lemelson is another $2,000 donor.

"Oh good, he finally caught up," said Stacey, when informed of Burkholder's fundraising. "It's pretty exciting for him." Stacey says he's not worried about Burkholder's monetary lead and says his own campaign is steady and on course. "It'll be on the issues that this race is decided," says Stacey. "For example, I don't think we have $3.5 billion to spend on one transportation project that is an environmental disaster."

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