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Breakdown of mayoral candidates campaign finances

Both Mayoral candidates raised over $7,800 for their general election campaigns but the similarities in their financial reports stop there.

Damon Krane, the independent mayoral candidate, raised about $7,867, while Democratic Mayor Steve Patterson raised about $7,963, according to the Athens Board of Elections Pre-General Report.

Patterson won the mayoral race by over 1,500 votes, according to unofficial results.

The similarities between their financials end there, as differences show up in how much they spent, where their money came from and how many donors they received.

Krane spent about $6,622 of his total raised and had 33 unique donors in the City of Athens, in Ohio and around the United States including New York, Maryland and Colorado. About $6,345 of his total raised came from his own pocket but only 10 of the 33 donors came from inside Athens County.

Most of the money he spent was used for social media ads, a texting service he used to campaign as well as lawn signs, brochures and a sign used on his food truck.

Patterson spent about $4,228 of his campaign donations that he got from 47 unique donors located only in Ohio with three coming from outside Athens County. Patterson also spent his money on campaign materials like yard signs, social media advertisements and flyers.

Patterson said he also received a $1,000 donation from Sen. Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) endorsement through the Canary Candidates political action committee. This donation does not appear on the Pre-General Report for the Athens County Board of Election but will appear on the Post-General election report.

“I’m really pleased and excited that the Canary Candidates PAC was the largest donation that I have ever received,” Patterson said.

Krane said he chose to self-fund the majority of his campaign because he had no other choice. He ended up spending about 20% of his total annual income on his campaign.

“The people that I’m trying to represent are low income, workers and students. They don’t have a lot of money to donate,” Krane said. “If you’re going to go up against somebody like that there is almost no way to compete unless you’re willing to just fork over a lot of your own money.”

Krane said this put him at a heavy disadvantage because Patterson did not use any of his own money on his campaign and instead relied on donations from prominent landlords in town.

Patterson received donations from landlords but a large majority of his donations were from other residents and business owners in Athens.

Patterson said he was really fortunate to have a lot of people donate to his campaign, including a number of residents of the city, businesses in the county and labor unions throughout Ohio. 

He said the landlords who donated to him do it because they appreciate the job he does as mayor to beautify Athens and his work in creating a special improvement district in Uptown Athens.

“Damon Krane has no understanding as to why any business person would donate to my campaign because he is uninformed and has no idea,” Patterson said.

Krane said that he ended up spending more money than Patterson because he had to work harder to get his name out since he is a first-time candidate and not the incumbent mayor.

Patterson said he didn’t end up needing all of the money that was donated to him but more expenses will show up in the Post-General report.


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