Wayne Christensen leads City Council candidates in fundraising

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Primary Voting Day for the Knoxville City Council election is little more than two months away, and the campaigns for the 30 candidates are predictably in full swing. Wayne Christensen of District 2 leads all the candidates in individual contributions with more $20,000 in campaign funds.

Christensen, who faces three opponents in the race to replace the seat of Vice Mayor Duane Grieve, released a statement Friday expressing his excitement towards the campaign contributions.

“I’m humbled by the amount of support this campaign has received in such a short time since I announced my candidacy,” Christensen said. “Leading in fundraising and individual contributions is just a small step in ensuring we build a better Knoxville together and that we have representatives who are focused on the issues that affect our area and it’s growth and quality of life.”

The list of donors for Christensen’s campaign includes several notable figures, including a $3,000 sum from Ann Haslam Bailey, the sister of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. Christensen also received two $1,000 donations from Pilot CEO Jimmy Haslam as well as his wife and Cleveland Browns co-owner Susan Haslam.

In District 3, James Corcoran leads his three opponents with nearly $4,000 in individual contributions, including two donations from former political opponents Martin Daniel and Steve Hall, for $750 and $500 respectively. Corcoran and Hall both lost in a Republican primary election last year to Daniel to represent Knoxville’s 18th district seat in the state House of Representatives.

Of the 13 candidates in District 6, only four have reported raising more than $1,000. Brandy Slaybaugh and David Gillette lead the district in campaign donations. Gillette reports $3,000 in kind contributions with Slaybaugh in a close second with $2,944 in individual contributions.

Lauren Rider leads District 4 with over $12,000 in individual contributions. Stephanie Welch leads nearby District 1 with over $5,000 in individual contributions as of this May. That includes a small contribution from current District 5 representative Mark Campen, whose term is not set to expire until December 2019.

The law requires that candidates disclose campaign expenditures and donor information, provided the campaign both receives and spends in excess of $1,000 during the reporting period. Campaign finance forms are available to the public on the Knox County Election Commission website.

Tanner Hancock is native Nashvillian and 2016 graduate of the University of Tennessee, a little-known school located in Knoxville, Tenn. He spent several years working at the university's student newspaper The Daily Beacon in differing capacities. When not pushing deadline, Tanner enjoys watching obscure samurai flicks or playing Go.

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