Nirenberg Approaches Campaign Finish Line With More Cash Than Mayoral Challengers

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Mayor Ron Nirenberg has out raised opponent Greg Brockhouse in campaign contributions leading up to election day on Saturday May 4th.

Scott Ball / Rivard Report

Mayor Ron Nirenberg has raised more money for his re-election campaign than opponent Greg Brockhouse leading up to the May 4 election.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg has outpaced Councilman Greg Brockhouse (D6), his most serious and well-funded challenger, in fundraising, according to the latest campaign finance reports.

Nirenberg outraised Brockhouse by more than $100,000 from March 26 to April 24, according to campaign finance reports filed eight days before the May 4 city elections, with $131,536 reported in monetary donations compared to Brockhouse’s $27,975.

Nirenberg also has much more cash to spend in the last few days of the campaign. He holds nearly $88,000 cash on hand, while Brockhouse reported almost $11,500. Both reported significant outstanding loans – Nirenberg owes $23,000, while Brockhouse owes $29,000 – but Nirenberg’s fundraising haul gives him more room to pay those off after the election.

Forty-eight individual contributors donated money to Brockhouse’s campaign between March 26 and April 24, and 268 contributed to Nirenberg’s in the same time frame. Kelton Morgan, Nirenberg’s campaign manager, said Tuesday the number of individual donors indicates strong support for the mayor.

“He’s got a relatively low average gift, and it shows broad-based and widespread support,” Morgan said of Nirenberg.

Brockhouse said as a challenger to an incumbent, he’s running a “raise it and spend it” campaign – as soon as money comes in, it goes out again in campaign expenditures. Though he trails Nirenberg significantly in fundraising, Brockhouse said he’s proud of his campaign team’s work.

“No matter what, with what we’ve got financially in this campaign versus Ron, we’ve overachieved,” Brockhouse said. “By any measure, we’re in this race. … We’re just going to keep knocking on doors and talking to people. If it works, it works. I’m excited about the opportunity and I’m confident we’re in a good spot. That’s the best you can hope for.”

Incumbents typically have an edge in raising campaign cash, but contributions and financial reports are not a predictor of race outcomes.

Former Mayor Ivy Taylor outraised and outspent her opponents in the 2017 municipal elections. Eight days before the May election in 2017, Taylor reported raising $26,774 more than Nirenberg and outspent him by more than $108,000 between March 28 and April 26 of that year. She continued to outraise and outspend Nirenberg leading up to the June 2017 runoff, but still lost by nine points.

“Having the most money or winning the fundraising race does not always translate into winning the race at the ballot box,” Morgan said. “It’s not a given. But I think what you saw in 2017, different than what you see today, is that Mayor Nirenberg – while not matching dollar for dollar [with Taylor] – was very competitive when it came to fundraising.”

Brockhouse has received significant financial backing from the firefighters union. The San Antonio Professional Firefighters Political Action Committee reported spending $15,838 on field workers and advertising to support Brockhouse’s campaign from February 26 to March 25 in the PAC’s most recent campaign finance report. The PAC raised $23,660 during the same time period.

Mayoral candidate Greg Brockhouse.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

Mayoral candidate Greg Brockhouse represents District 6 on City Council.

Brockhouse has spent more than $23,000 on his campaign, according to the latest financial report. He spent $44,527 in the previous reporting period.

Even including the fire union’s expenditures on behalf of Brockhouse, Nirenberg has spent thousands more than Brockhouse. In his latest financial report, Nirenberg recorded $355,767 in expenditures. He spent $159,238 in the previous reporting period.

Of the nine candidates running for mayor, Michael Idrogo and Carlos Castanuela have not filed any campaign finance reports. Matt Piña reported raising $238 from March 26 to April 24 and spending $623. He had $64 cash on hand. Tim Atwood reported raising no money, reported no cash on hand, and spent $156 in the same time frame. Bert Cecconi reported having $62,281, but much of that came from a $90,000 loan he made to his campaign in February. Cecconi reported spending $681 from March 26 to April 24 with no money raised.

Early voting ends Tuesday at 8 p.m. 

6 thoughts on “Nirenberg Approaches Campaign Finish Line With More Cash Than Mayoral Challengers

  1. Greg Brockhouse has the support of the people. Citizens are tired of business as usual at city hall. They are tired of representives like Ron Nirenberg that represent not the citizens by city hall insiders, developers, powerbrokers, and their lobbyists. Citizens are tired of the pay for play environment at city hall.

    The time for change at city hall is now!

  2. Greg Brockhouse is in the pocket of the firefighters. This is a major conflict of interest. It is time for the firefighters to stop endorsing politicians. Instead of funding mayoral candidates they need to utilize their money for health insurance and other benefits !!!

  3. Why is it that Brockhouse is in the pocket of the Unions? How many pockets is this current Mayor in? Robert makes a good point that Brockhouse does indeed have the support of the people of this city and that’s all that counts. If you hear Greg’s message he is always talking about neighborhoods and how all the neighborhoods feel left out of all the decision making, and that truly needs to get fixed because there is a disconnect there. Greg Brockhouse is for the citizens of San Antonio, and not special interest groups. Like I have always said we deserve the government we get so if you don’t vote you cannot complain! GET OUT AND VOTE!

    • “Greg Brockhouse is for the citizens of San Antonio, and not special interest groups.” This is, of course, demonstrably false.

  4. It is high time to say no to city leaders who hold closed door meetings and are not about the business of the people. These leaders are more interested in painting a crosswalk than in actually getting real issues addressed. So many areas of the city are falling apart and have been in dire straits for years already and no one is saying anything about it. The current mayor is all about himself and the agenda of the liberals.

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