With no opponents running against them, Wake County school board members Christine Kushner, Jim Martin and Zora Felton are reallocating their campaign funds to help support other candidates.
Campaign finance reports show the trio of uncontested incumbents has donated more than $13,000 to candidates running for state and local offices this year. Most of the giving has come from Kushner and Martin, who had announced early they intended to run for re-election.
Kushner has raised $23,467.11 this election cycle and had $16,206.60 on hand as of Oct. 22, according to her latest campaign finance report. But Kushner, who was carrying money over from her prior election campaign, has spent $15,524.73.
Kushner gave $8,750 to the election campaigns of five school board candidates: $2,750 apiece to board Chairman Tom Benton and board Vice Chairwoman Monika Johnson-Hostler, $1,250 apiece to board member Bill Fletcher and school board candidate Gary Lewis and $750 to school board member Keith Sutton.
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Some of Kushner’s other donations include $1,000 to the Wake County Democratic Party and $250 apiece to the campaigns of N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and state Rep. candidate Randy Barrow.
Kushner’s biggest contributor was pollster Dean Debnam, who gave $5,100. Next came $1,000 from John Wilson, former executive director of the National Education Association.
Kushner also received donations from several of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed against the Wake County school board election maps drawn up by the General Assembly. Those state-drawn maps were eventually declared unconstitutional.
Jim Martin raised $7,334.62 this election cycle and had $4,458.61 on hand as of Oct. 22, according to his latest campaign report. But like Kushner, Martin had funds left over from his prior campaign so he’s spent $6,220.32.
Martin gave $1,300 to the campaigns of three school board candidates: $800 to Lewis and $250 apiece for Johnson-Hostler and Fletcher.
Martin also gave $1,000 to the Wake County Democratic Party and $750 apiece to the campaigns of Barrow and Wake County Board of Commissioners candidate Erv Portman and $500 to the campaign of state Senate candidate Gil Johnson. He also gave $250 to the state Senate campaign of Wake school board member Susan Evans.
Martin’s biggest donor was Capitol Broadcasting CEO Jim Goodmon, who gave $2,000.
Felton has raised $650.54 this election cycle and has $847.85 on hand as of Oct. 22, according to her latest campaign report. With cash carried over from her 2013 campaign, Felton has spent $1,309.54.
Felton has given $100 apiece to the school board campaigns of Benton, Fletcher, Kushner and Martin. She also gave $150 to Evans’ Senate campaign.
Felton’s biggest contributor has been the Raleigh Regional Realtors PAC, which gave $500.
A fourth school board candidate, Roxie Cash, is also running unopposed. But Cash filed paperwork saying she intended to raise and spend less than $1,000.