Both incumbent Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and challenger Mingus Mapps have taken advantage of the city of Portland's new public financing program in their battle for a City Council seat.
In theory, that system, which promises candidates a match of up to 6 to 1 for contributions of up to $50, should not have offered either candidate an advantage. City rules limit council candidates to raising $250,000 in the primary and $300,000 in the general election, so both are capped at the same amount.
But figures show Mapps got to the maximum earlier in the campaign (Eudaly isn't there yet, although her fundraising has picked up strongly), and he holds an apparent cash advantage going into the campaign's final week.
Here's what the numbers look like for the year through Oct. 26:
The state's campaign finance system shows different numbers, because while the city's database updates in real time, state reporting rules allow candidates seven days to report contributions and expenditures. That state database shows Mapps with $131,000 cash on hand and Eudaly with about $31,000.
Eudaly's campaign spokesman, Damon Motz-Storey, says there are reasons Eudaly's fundraising has lagged that of Mapps, a former political science professor and city employee making his first run for office.
"Data from the primary shows that lower-income voters tend to support Eudaly and wealthier voters tend to support Mapps," Motz Storey says in an email. "We noticed that many big developers and realtors maxed out their individual donations to Mapps, whereas a great many of our donors listed themselves as unemployed or working low-wage jobs."
Jessica Elkan, a spokesman for the Mapps campaign, says only about 6% of Mapps' contributors identified themselves as working in real estate or development.
"Mingus has built a coalition of more than 200 individual endorsers and countless organizations, including those representing working families," Elkan says. "The campaign has brought in support of over 1,200 unique contributors with more 862 of these unique donors coming in during the general campaign cycle."
Ballots for the Nov. 3 election must be mailed by Oct. 27 to reach Multnomah County Elections in time to be counted. Otherwise, voters can drop them off here.