Former councilman Rex Griswold is setting the pace in raising cash in a high-stakes campaign to be Mesa’s next mayor.
Griswold has raised more than $77,000, which leads competing mayoral hopefuls Scott Smith and Vice Mayor Claudia Walters.
Smith has raised more than $60,000 for the March election to date. He gave himself a cash loan of $10,000, according to Mesa campaign finance campaign reports.
Walters has raised nearly $47,000, with nearly $25,000 being raised between Oct. 18 to Nov. 26, campaign finance records show.
Smith, a political newcomer and businessman, has spent the most money so far to get his campaign message out. He has spent nearly $43,000 to date on the campaign, according to campaign finance records.
Griswold has spent $17,000, and Walters has spent $6,000.
Dec. 12 is the deadline to turn in signatures and be placed on the ballot as an official candidate.
Mesa could have contested races for four city council seats.
Dave Richins has raised $12,408 in his run for the District 1 council seat that will be vacated by Walters. Matt Tolman shows $5,125 in campaign donations to date.
Meanwhile, District 5, vacated by Griswold in September, shows that Phil Austin is leading his race for campaign cash. Austin has raised $1,490 as of Nov. 26, according to campaign records. Vern Mathern has raised $500.
Dennis Kavanaugh, an attorney and former councilman for District 3, has raised $5,495 to date. Mark Yarbrough entered the race earlier this week and did not file a campaign finance report Thursday. He originally filed for a committee to be mayor, and pulled out days later to run for the District 3 spot.
In the District 2 race, Alex Finter, a former planning and zoning commissioner, has raised more than $29,000. Manny Cortez recently threw his hat into the District 2 race.
Meanwhile, a battle in an east Mesa neighborhood over an industrial park near Williams Gateway has both supporters and opponents raising cash.
The Citizens in Support of Mesa Employment Opportunities has raised and spent more than $53,000 to support an industrial development represented by the high-profile law firm Pew and Lake.
The opponents of the development, Queens Park PAC, have raised about $18,355 to shoot down the project, which will be on the ballot in March.