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Burlington Mayoral Candidates: Following the money

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 5:35 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 23, 2021 at 5:07 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - With just over a week until Town Meeting Day, we’re following the money in the race for Burlington’s mayor. Our Dom Amato dug into financial documents to find out who’s leading the pack, and he gives us historical context from previous campaigns.

“I think we have delivered a lot for the people of Burlington over the last nine years,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger, D-Burlington.

But do Burlingtonians agree? According to the dollars, the support is strong.

Incumbent Mayor Weinberger has raised more than $126,000 so far. That’s the most the three-term incumbent has ever raised in one race and there’s still more than a week until Town Meeting Day.

He’s nearly $20,000 ahead right now compared to where he was in his 2018 campaign. Some 461 people have contributed to the mayor so far, fewer than in 2018 when he had 473.

But what’s more telling is the amount spent. The mayor was in another three-way race in 2018 against Sen. Bernie Sanders’ stepdaughter, Progressive Carina Driscoll, and independent Infinite Culcleasure. The mayor had spent around $78,000 10 days before Town Meeting Day. This election, he’s at $86,000.

Another standout-- it’s the first campaign where Weinberger has turned to TV ads, shelling out more than $8,000 for campaign commercials just this month. A spokesperson says it’s to reach voters where in-person events aren’t possible because of the pandemic.

Like in the last two elections, Weinberger’s most significant challenge comes from the left. This year, City Council President Max Tracy, a Progressive, is running off record support and momentum from the party.

Tracy has brought in nearly $65,000 from 547 contributors-- the most contributors in this race. About 93% of contributions are $100 or less.

Independent Ali Dieng has raised more than $13,000 from 115 supporters so far.

Both stats are more than 2018′s independent challenger Infinite Culcleasure.

Burlington has already begun the process of early voting.

According to the city clerk in Burlington, ballots were sent to 25,811registered voters in the city.

They say they’ve received 2,720 voted ballots.

Ballots will be accepted until Saturday.

We’re told after that, any remaining ones will be counted at the polls on Town Meeting Day on Tuesday.

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