Killeen Mayor Pro Tem Michael Lower leads the fundraising race in the battle for re-election against his opponent, District 3 Councilman Terry Clark, in the May 11 election.
Redistricting has pitted Lower, who currently represents District 4, against Clark in the only contested Killeen council race this year.
The Texas Ethics Commission requires local candidates to file two campaign finance reports 30 days and eight days before the election once they have reached the $500 threshold.
Lower raised a total of $4,000 from five big-name donors, including $500 from Mayor Dan Corbin, $1,000 from Planning and Zoning Commissioner Craig Langford and $250 from local landowner Bill Yowell.
Lower said the sway of his donors would not affect the decisions he would make if re-elected.
“They know that I’m honest, I have integrity and I study the issues to make the best decision for the city of Killeen,” Lower said.
Clark has raised a total of $3,287 for his campaign, mostly through small contributions of less than $50. The names of donors who contributed less than $50 are not required to be listed on the reports.
The one-term incumbent loaned himself $540 and donated $277 of his council salary to his own campaign.
“The Terry Clark campaign is in the hole,” Clark said. “My wife and I felt if we are going to ask people for money, we’d better put our own money, too, into this campaign.”
Both candidates spent the campaign funds on similar items such as signs, postcards, newspaper advertisements and automated “robo” calls, according to the reports.
Neither candidate held an event for fundraising.
Clark submitted his eight-day campaign finance report Tuesday — four days after the Friday deadline.
When asked why his report was late, Clark said, “I have to work and I cannot give 24 hours a day to my campaign. My opponent doesn’t have a job and I don’t have a mayor running my campaign for me.”
Unless a complaint is filed against Clark with TEC, he is likely not to receive a penalty, according to TEC.
Lower, who described himself as an automotive manager, said he appreciated the positive campaigns both candidates have ran so far.
“It is difficult to run against somebody you’ve been friends with,” Lower said. “It’s just I think I understand the city a little bit better than him and the direction the city is headed.”
Contact Brandon Janes at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7552