Campaign finance details released in Columbia city council races

Over $100,000 in donations have become key element in fueling campaigns

POSTED: 07:39 AM CDT Mar 29, 2013    UPDATED: 07:58 PM CDT Mar 29, 2013 
Columbia City Council meeting
COLUMBIA, Mo. -

The Missouri municipal elections are next Tuesday.

ABC 17 News got a first look Thursday at the amount of money being raised by candidates.

Tens of thousands of dollars are being pumped into the Columbia races, with two council positions and the mayoral seat open.

With the election around the corner, final donations are coming in. Campaign contribution documents show donors are responsible for more than half the money needed to operate the campaign.

But candidates say it is about more than just dollars.

“Their appreciation in terms of what they support in a candidate is important, but it’s important for them to feel that they have made a contribution and not just in terms of dollars,” 3rd Ward City Council challenger Karl Skala tells ABC 17 News.

Skala’s campaign has raised nearly $12,000 dollars at this point.

His opponent, 3rd Ward Councilman Gary Kespohl, has raised more than $20,000 with some of the money coming from local construction companies.

“I think that's why they donate. They approve of what I'm doing, the direction Columbia is going in,” Kespohl says.

In total, it was discovered more than $100,000 has been donated to the Columbia municipal campaigns.

The most notable donations appear in the financial statement of the 4th Ward City Council challenger Ian Thomas.

Thomas raised more than $20,000, a little over $9,000 more than current 4th Ward City Councilman Daryl Dudley.

The numbers show community involvement plays an essential role in being able to have a campaign.