The final campaign finance reports before the all-important South Bend mayoral primary have been filed. And Democratic hopeful Pete Buttigieg leads all candidates by a wide margin, with $230,000 raised through April 8th.
State Rep. Ryan Dvorak trails behind with $100,000, followed by Mike Hamann at $56,000. Democrat Barrett Berry didn’t file, according to our political analyst Jack Colwell.
Colwell says Buttigieg took the early fundraising lead and that lead hasn’t let up.
“They set out to raise a large amount of money, the largest I’m sure ever for a primary candidate for mayor – and they’ve achieved it,” said Colwell.
What’s also important, said Colwell, is the “cash on hand” for each campaign. Buttigieg has $127,000; Dvorak $69,000; and Mike Hamann $19,000.
“Buttigieg is the frontrunner, but maybe just barely,” said Colwell. “And the race is far from over.”
Dvorak has labor support, said Colwell, and Mike Hamann has an impressive display of yard signs and billboards around South Bend.
But the money is an important reflection of Buttigieg’s chances, said Colwell.
“He has the support of two former mayors, Roger Parent and Joe Kernan, and some big names in the Democratic party, so I think he is probably at this point the frontrunner,” said Colwell.
When asked whether Republican Wayne Curry has a chance at beating the May primary winner on the Democratic side, Colwell was blunt:
“No, he has no shot at it. And I think a lot of Republicans, knowing that, are actually going to vote in the Democratic primary this time because they figure whoever wins that will go on to be mayor.”