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Winning Las Vegas City Council candidates spent more than $1M

Updated July 15, 2019 - 8:27 pm

In the weeks leading up to municipal Election Day, when canvassing, public events and political advertising kicked into high gear, candidates also accelerated their fundraising.

Reports filed for the June 11 Las Vegas municipal election show contenders for three open council seats ramped up fundraising and spending during the final quarter before voters went to the polls. The period between April 1 and June 30 easily accounted for the majority of candidates’ total campaign contributions and spending, according to an analysis of financial disclosures due Monday.

For the entire election, Ward 1 Councilman Brian Knudsen, who defeated former council special assistant Robin Munier, reported raising roughly $442,000 and spending almost $413,000 throughout his campaign, disclosures show. That works out to $188.47 per vote for the 2,191 votes he earned in the general election.

Councilwoman Olivia Diaz, a former assemblywoman who won in Ward 3, said she raised more than $344,000 and spent nearly $340,000 for the race. She spent the most per vote — $250.01 — winning her seat with 1,359 votes in the low-turnout contest.

Ward 2 winner Victoria Seaman, another former assemblywoman who topped a field of eight, said she raised about $309,000 and spent just over $326,000. She got the biggest bang for her campaign buck, $109.29 for each of the 2,984 votes cast in her race.

Seaman noted she received support from 225 individual donors who accounted for nearly 60 percent of her contributors.

Knudsen, Diaz and Seaman were the top fundraisers and spenders, in that order, among all candidates. They collectively raised, and spent, more than $1 million on their way to Election Day victories.

A seat on the City Council pays $82,402.06 per year, according to the city’s open data portal.

For Knudsen, the fact he reported raising 62 percent of all campaign contributions during the second quarter of the year is made more significant because he started collecting donations in 2017.

Other notable fundraising amounts among candidates who reported: Veterans Affairs project manager Melissa Clary in Ward 3 (about $167,000); public relations executive Hilarie Grey in Ward 2 (about $166,000); and former Assemblywoman Valerie Weber in Ward 2 (about $43,000).

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

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