Politics

Weinberger leads Burlington mayor’s race in cash; Tracy leads in donors

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger speaks at a downtown press conference last year. Photo by Aidan Quigley/VTDigger

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger has broken his campaign fundraising records in this year’s race for mayor, but Progressive challenger Max Tracy has more donors. 

As of Saturday, Weinberger, a Democrat, had raised $126,147 through 461 contributions. Tracy, the city council president, had raised $63,336 from 547 donors. City Councilor Ali Dieng, an independent, had raised $13,511 from 115 donors.

Independent candidates Haik Bedrosian, Will Emmons, Kevin McGrath and Patrick White have not filed campaign finance reports with the Vermont Secretary of State’s office. 

Weinberger’s contributions topped his 2018 record, when he brought in $107,000 at the same point in the campaign. He closed that 2018 race with a total of $126,162. 

In an email Saturday night, Weinberger thanked contributors for the unprecedented support. 

“I am both humbled and grateful to have earned your support,” Weinberger wrote. “Our fundraising success confirms what I have sensed since we launched our campaign in December: Burlingtonians know these are serious times and this is a critical election.” 

Weinberger has raised twice as much money as Tracy, but Tracy is also breaking Progressive fundraising records in the race for mayor. 

Tracy’s total of $63,336 is more than any of Weinberger’s 2018 challengers raised. Independent Carina Driscoll brought in about $47,000 and Infinite Culcleasure, also an independent, raised about $10,000. 

In an email with the subject line “Money doesn’t vote, people do,” Tracy highlighted his campaign’s focus on local support. According to the campaign, 70% of donations were $100 or less.

“According to the other campaign filing reports released last night, we by far have the most individual donors and donors giving at the most modest levels,” Tracy wrote. “We are proud of how we funded this campaign. It has both made us competitive citywide and rooted us in the progressive value that elections should not be bought.” 

Tracy boasted that 88% of his donors are Vermonters and 81% live in Chittenden County.

Max Tracy
Burlington City Council President Max Tracy. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

Dieng says that of his 115 donors, 97% live in Burlington.

“It’s clear that both Max and Miro are running campaigns highly dependent on out-of-town dollars,” Dieng posted to his campaign’s Facebook page during the weekend. 

The Weinberger campaign did not have a breakdown of local versus out-of-state donors among its 461 contributors. Of those donors, 97 contributed $100 or more, and 22 of those are from out of state. Campaigns are not required to disclose the identity and address of donors who contributed less than $100.

For this filing deadline, all of Dieng’s $100-and-over contributors are from Vermont. Of the 86 donors of $100 or more listed for Tracy, five are from out of state. 

Burlington City Councilor Ali Dieng. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

Weinberger has received contributions from developers and property owners such as Jeff Nick, Steven Offenhartz and Bissonette Properties, and from businesses such as GC3 Real Estate LLC and Shearer Volkswagen of South Burlington. 

So far, Weinberger has spent $86,043, including $16,000 on television ads. 

Tracy has received maxed-out donations of $1,040 from Jerry Greenfield and Ben Cohen of Ben and Jerry’s and from the Vermont State Labor Council AFL-CIO. He’s spent a total of $47,686; the biggest single expenditure — $9,826 — was for media brochures for the campaign. 

Dieng didn’t receive any maxed-out donations this fundraising round but he did receive $200 from Driscoll, the runner-up in the 2018 mayoral race.

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Grace Elletson

About Grace

Grace Elletson is VTDigger's government accountability reporter, covering politics, state agencies and the Legislature. She is part of the BOLD Women's Leadership Network and a recent graduate of Ithaca College, where she was editor in chief of the Ithacan. She previously interned for the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Christian Science Monitor and The Cape Cod Times, her hometown newspaper.

Email: [email protected]

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