MANSFIELD -- Democratic Party candidates for city offices have collectively raised -- and spent -- more than their Republican Party counterparts during this election cycle.
Pre-election campaign finance reports filed by Thursday's deadline with the Richland County Board of Elections offered a glimpse into the financial campaigns of candidates for Mansfield mayor and city council positions.
Five Democratic candidates -- Don Bryant (mayor), Aurelio Diaz (council president), Phil Scott (council at-large), Cheryl Meier (2nd Ward) and Jean Taddie (6th Ward) -- combined to raise $32,308, while spending $31,161.
Democratic Party 4th Ward candidate Alomar Davenport didn't file a finance report, which is only required if a candidate takes in or spends more than $1,000 during the period, which began in June.
Five Republican candidates -- Tim Theaker (mayor), Cliff Mears (council president), David Falquette (council at-large), Jason Crundwell (2nd ward) and Stephanie Zader (6th Ward) -- collectively raised $28,255 and spent $26,245.
Most of the funds spent were on various forms of advertising, including media purchases, yard signs,printing, postage and related campaign events.
Most of the candidates, except Mears and Crundwell, reported cash balances brought forward from the previous cycle.
The bulk of the donations collected and dollars spent involved the mayor's race between Theaker, the incumbent, and Bryant, currently an at-large council member.
Bryant began the reporting period with $1,116, took in donations of $17,055, expended $16,149 and had a cash balance of $2,321.
Theaker began with $1,583, took in $15,010, expended $15,017 and ended the period with $1,576.
Of the council candidates, Mears took in the largest amount of donations ($7,105) while spending $5,667. His opponent, Diaz, raised $4,395 and spent $4,160.
Meier, who began the period with $2,887, raised $5,225 and spent $5,704. Her opponent, Crundwell, took in $1,480 and spent $1,165.
Falquette began the period with $460, raised $3,085 and spent $3,079. His opponent, Scott, began with $1,431, raised $1,125 and expended $1,370.
Taddie began with $417, raised $4,508 and spent $3,778. Zader started with $231, raised $1,575 and spent $1,316.
Gerald Strouth, one of two write-in candidates in the 4th Ward, generated $1,600 in contributions and had expended none of it, though the campaign has $155 in debts to a Mount Vernon law firm for printing/postage and an ethics filing.
A second 4th Ward write-in candidate, Brenda Collins, did not file a campaign finance report.
Election Day is Nov. 5, though early voting is now underway at the Board of Elections office.