The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday June 1st

Carrboro Board of Aldermen candidates file campaign finance reports

First-time candidate for the Carrboro Board of Aldermen Michelle Johnson emerged this week as the leading fundraiser among a field of mostly incumbents.

Candidates filed 35-day campaign finance reports Tuesday with the Orange County Board of Elections, detailing their fundraising and spending.

Four candidates — two incumbents, a former alderman and a newcomer — are bidding for the three open seats.

Three of five candidates have amassed more than $1,000, according to reports and candidates.

Johnson, a social worker, has raised more than any other candidate for the board, with donations totalling nearly $3,000.

Johnson said she is meeting contribution goals and credited her success to broad support from people in the community.

“I’ve been out canvassing door-to-door and people seem to be very engaged in the elections,” she said. “Everyone has a lot of questions, and I’m excited to see them excited.”

Alderwoman Lydia Lavelle has raised about $2,500, making her the second highest fundraiser, though she caps how much people can donate to her campaign.

“My donations are going great, but I have a self-imposed limit of $100 a person,” she said. “And many people have responded to that and sent in small amounts.”

Lavelle, first elected to the board in 2007, said she’s working as hard on her campaign this year as she did the first time around.

“Because I have maintained my website since I was elected four years ago, a lot of folks who supported me last time have kept up with me over the years and are supporting me now,” she said.

Alderman Dan Coleman, who was appointed to the board in 2006 to fill Mayor Mark Chilton’s seat and was later elected, has raised less than $1,000.

And while Coleman welcomes more community dialogue, he said he doesn’t want to take people’s money if he doesn’t need it.

“I think I’m in a position where I can spend less and still get the message out,” he said. “And I think that makes sense in these economic times.”

Braxton Foushee, a former alderman, said he has raised about $1,200.

Foushee said his campaign is “raising some money, not a lot of money, but some,” and he thinks he is connecting with the town.

Mayor Mark Chilton is running unopposed for his fourth, and what he said will be his last, term as Carrboro mayor.

Chilton said he isn’t concerned about raising money in the election cycle.

“I’m going to be out doing some campaigning and appearances later this fall, but so far I haven’t done much,” he said.

Although he is running unopposed for mayor, he said he is looking forward to the more contentious aldermen election.

“It’s going to be an interesting race. I think the community has some very important decisions to make,” Chilton said.

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