Following the release of the first-quarter campaign finance reports for the May 4 Williamsburg City Council election, Scott Foster ’10 has raised considerably more money than his opponents.
Foster received $10,098.65 in the period between Jan. 1 and March 31, more than any other candidate.
“It’s obviously very helpful,” Foster campaign spokesman Erik Houser ’10 said. “This is the most amount of money ever raised by a student. This is the first time ever, that a student has beaten anyone in fundraising. I think it’s a very encouraging sign.”
According to campaign finance reports, planning commission member Sean Driscoll amassed $5,349 in funds between Jan. 1 and March 31, while planning commission chairman Doug Pons raised $7,435 and incumbent Bobby Braxton took in $4,890 between Jan. 1 and April 15.
Finance reports for Student Health Center doctor David Dafashy were not available as of press time.
Foster’s advantage in fundraising came from a significant lead in individual campaign contributors.
One hundred thirty-five different individuals donated to his campaign. Fifteen of those gave gifts totaling over $100 in value, while 120 individuals gave less than that amount.
“While the total amount raised is very important, the most important number is the total donations,” Houser said. “That was far and away the most number of donations. That translates more into the support of the community, and I think that the fact that he had over 120 donations really shows that this campaign is picking up support, not only from the College community, but also from the broader, long-term resident community.”
Braxton received donations from 77 individuals, while Pons and Driscoll gained funds from 48 and 41 donors, respectively.
Foster’s fundraising lead translated into a spending advantage as well. The College of William and Mary senior spent $5,324.20 over the three-month period, the majority of which was allocated toward promotional materials, in addition to funding for several campaign events.
That amount left Foster with a total fund of $6,774.45 as of March 31, with the addition of $2,000 that the student loaned to his campaign.
Driscoll had $3,531.57 in campaign funds on March 31, while Pons and Braxton held $3,500.90 and $2,523.36, respectively, as of April 15.
Houser said he believed the Foster campaign could maintain that advantage in the weeks leading up to the election.
“I’m not sure we will end up on top at the very end, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we do, based on the current numbers,” he said. “[We’ve seen] a wide swath of people in this area wanting to donate to his campaign. And that is something we’ve never seen before from a student city council candidate.”
The Braxton, Pons, Driscoll and Dafashy campaigns could not be reached for comment before press time.