Barely two months have elapsed since the electoral sluices opened in Burlington and released a veritable flood of contenders for the city’s mayor and city council. Yet, in this short period of time, some of these candidates have amassed substantial sums to bankroll their campaigns – a fact that recently became clear when many of them filed financial disclosure reports with the NC state board of elections.
According to these reports, which reached the state board in late August and early September, the top fundraiser in this year’s mayoral contest is current city councilman Jim Butler. Owing to some generous donations from local business leaders, Butler had accumulated roughly $43,696 in his campaign coffers by the state’s latest reporting deadline on August 24. The long-time council member had even outstripped the $27,401 raised by the city’s incumbent mayor Ian Baltutis, who nevertheless got a jump on the other four mayoral contenders by starting his own fundraising activities several weeks before candidate registration began in July.
In the meantime, incumbent councilman Harold Owen has managed to assemble the largest campaign cache among the six contenders for the two regular seats that are available on Burlington’s city council this fall. In fact, Owen’s nest egg of $37,850 is more than three times the size of the next largest war chest of $11,500, which former county commissioner Bob Byrd has amassed thanks to a $10,000 loan from himself.
Under state law, the regular submission of financial disclosure reports is required of municipal candidates who raise or spend more than $1,000 on their campaigns. These mandated submissions include an initial statement of organization that a candidate generally files with the county’s board of elections. These statements often include a smattering of donations that a candidate receives in the opening days of the race.
With the exception of retired police officer and city council contender Wendy Jordan, all 11 of the contenders for Burlington’s mayor or city council have filed organizational statements with Alamance County’s board of elections. Many of these office seekers have also submitted subsequent reports to the state board of elections, which has uploaded the information it has received on each candidate’s finances to its website.
The latest of these state-level submissions is a so-called 35-day report which eligible candidates in Burlington had to submit within five weeks of the city’s primary election on October 5. These reports contain the vast majority of the campaign contributions for most of the candidates – the details of which are laid out below:
Baltutis’ 35-day report indicates that the incumbent mayor took in $11,255.61 during the latest reporting period and a total of $27,400.61 for the campaign. His most recent receipts include $96 in smaller donations that don’t meet the threshold for itemization as well as another $11,159.61 in itemized contributions.
According to his 35-day report, Baltutis has spotted his own campaign $4,526.61 in in-kind donations, including $168.67 for domain registration and another $4,357.94 for yard-signs. His report also details the following donations from other contributors:
Don Chaplin, retired, 2602 Edgewood Avenue, Burlington, $105; Scott Fowler, accountant with Unichem, Inc., 604 Woodvale Drive, Greensboro, $250; Norlan Graves, attorney for the state of North Carolina, P.O. Box 672, Roanoke Rapids, $100; Ned Heidel, vice president with Mid-State Marketing, 614 West Front Street, Burlington, $136; Mark Heizer, realtor with HCO Properties, 935 Phils Creek Road, Chapel Hill, $250;
Jefferson Holt, self-employed real estate investor, P.O. Box 1029 Carrboro, $1,500; Kay Johnson, letter carrier for USPS, 1233 Franklin Street, Burlington, $56; Elizabeth Kennett, pastor at HUCC, 324 West Willowbrook Drive, Burlington, $66; Dewitt Methvin, retired from the legal profession, 43 East Bend Lane, Houston, TX, $2,000; Sam Powell, self-employed executive, $1,000;
Molly Whitlatch, attorney with Sharpless, McClearn, Lester & Duffy, 912 West Davis Street, $200; Ray Womack, CEO of Womack Electric Supply, 2310 Hickory Avenue, Burlington, $1,500.
Baltutis also provides the particulars about other donations that his campaign has received in his financial disclosure report for the second quarter of 2021. During this period, which ended shortly before the start of candidate registration for this year’s election, the city’s incumbent mayor took in some $15,625 from 18 individual contributors.
Baltutis’ second quarter report goes on to identify seven of these individuals whose donations exceeded the threshold for itemization:
Thomas Baltutis, a retired engineer from 4845 10th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN, $1,000; Claire Haslam, a self-employed community entrepreneur, P.O. Box 118, Saxapahaw, $2,000; Jefferson Holt, a self-employed real estate investor, P.O. Box 1029, Carrboro, $500; Sam Hunt, the chairman of Hunt Electric Supply, 1218 West Davis Street, Burlington, $5,600; Griffin McClure III with Green & McClure Furniture, 501 Grandview Drive, Graham, $100;
Deva Reece with Sir Speedy Printing, 3005 Weston Court, Burlington, $500; William Scott, Jr., CEO of Alamance Foods, P.O. Box 2690, Burlington, $5,600.
Walter Boyd’s 35-day report reveals $3,940.56 in campaign contributions, including $75 in smaller donations that didn’t have to be itemized in his report.
A retired attorney who hails from 407 Meadowood Drive, the candidate is himself credited with $2,179.75 of his campaign’s remaining receipts. These in-kind contributions include $20 to cover his filing fee, $1,127.55 for campaign signs, $331.01 for campaign pens, $501.19 for campaign t-shirts, and $200 as a deposit for radio ads on WBAG.
Boyd’s report also identifies these other donors to his campaign:
Keith Burch, retired from sales, 1117 Spruce Street, Durham, $1,125 in cash and $71.52 in kind for a banner; Mark Goodes, sales with Craft Tire, 6429 Ridgeview Drive, Roanoke, VA, $100; Samuel Isley, PT at Wake Tech, 1422 Mordecai Drive, Raleigh, $200; Buell E. “Ed” Moser, sales with Liquid Handling Equipment, 6673 South NC Highway 62, Burlington, $100; Cathy Schweitzer, Carolina Nuclear Medicine, 2613 Saddle Club Road, Burlington, 27215, $10 in cash and $79.29 in kind as “food, drink, utensils for campaign event”.
The 35-day report for Jim Butler enumerates 22 contributions to the councilman’s mayoral campaign worth a combined sum of $43,695.69.
The candidate, who hails from 520 Meadowood Drive in Burlington and serves as the director of operations for the Modern Automotive Network, is himself credited with one in-kind contribution of $1,015.79 in “banners.” Butler’s report also lists the following donors who contributed to his campaign between July 19 and August 24 of this year:
Jim Barnwell, owner of Huffman Oil, 2909 North Fairway Drive, Burlington, $3,000; Rhonda Brown, owner of the Agency, Inc., 21 Lands End Drive, Greensboro, $1,500; James Coble, president of Coble Enterprises, P.O. Box 1154, Burlington, $1,500; Craig Durham, owner of R. Craig Durham CPA, 1923 Delaine Drive, Burlington, $1,000; Albert Freeman, owner of Freeman Electric, 1888 Fairfield Drive, Burlington, $1,300;
Allen Gant, chairman of Glen Raven, Inc., 1022 West Davis Street, Burlington, $4,000; Sam Hunt, retired from Hunt Electric Supply & Atlas Lighting Products, 1218 West Davis Street, Burlington, $5,600; Sammy Hunt, president of Hunt Electric Supply, 3021 North Fairway Drive, Burlington, $3,000; Vicky Hunt, retired from Hunt Electric Supply, 1218 West Davis Street, Burlington, $3,000; Ernest Koury, Jr., executive with Carolina Hosiery Mills, P.O. Box 850, Burlington, $2,000;
Teena Koury, executive with Carolina Hosiery Mills, P.O. Box 850, Burlington, $1,000; Barbara Mantz, retired – private households, 1003 Dunleigh Drive, Burlington, $100; Jim McGill, retired from 1st State Bank, 1915 West Lake Drive, Burlington, $1,000; David Morton, owner of David Morton Enterprises, P.O. Box 1220, Elon, $3,315.50 in cash and $1,684.40 in kind as “yard signs”; Perry Nichols, owner of Perry Nichols Properties, 509 Truitt Drive, Elon, $5,000;
Melanie Orton, manager of campus support and community engagement for Cone Health, 825 Whispering Wind Road, Burlington, $250; Tom Pate with Pate Real Estate, 2228 Walker Avenue, Burlington, $500; Rodney Sharpe, retired from Hunt Electric Supply, 1918 Woodhue Drive, Burlington, $200; Dale Stearns, owner of Stearns Ford, 100 Turnbury Place, Elon, $2,500; Ray Womack, CEO of Womack Electric Supply, 2310 Hickory Avenue, Burlington, $1,500.
Caleb J. Massey
The state elections office hasn’t posted a 35-day report for this political newcomer, who nevertheless filed a statement of organization with the local elections office. An amended version of this statement details two contributions worth $120 that reportedly came from the candidate himself.
A funeral director with Lowe Funeral Home who hails from 1017 Tarleton Avenue in Burlington, Massey is credited with giving his campaign $100 in cash and another $20 in kind to cover his filing fee.
The state elections office also has no data on Vanhook, although its local equivalent has received a statement of organization from this mayoral candidate. According to this statement, the city’s would-be mayor has accumulated $440.97 in her campaign coffers, including $205 in smaller contributions that don’t meet the threshold for itemization.
A resident of 317 Caswell Street, Apartment 8, in Burlington, Vanhook also reportedly spotted her campaign $39 for a post office box, $20 to cover her filing fee, and $76.97 for a domain on GoDaddy.com. Her only other itemized contribution is a $100 donation from Tavores Vanhook, a sales manager with Nicholas Finance who hails from 415 Homewood Avenue in Burlington.
Although the state board of elections has posted no data for Beasley, the statement of organization that he has filed with the board’s local equivalent lists three campaign contributions with a combined value of $120.
Beasley’s organizational statement credits the candidate himself with one in-kind contribution of $20 to cover his candidate filing fee. A quality manager for Tempest Aero Group who hails from 1134 Cardross Street in Burlington, Beasley has also reported cash contributions of $50 apiece from self-employed contractor Frank A. Carter and retiree Kathleen E. Carter of 22 Happy Hollow Road in Galax, VA.
Dejuana Warren Bigelow
Dejuana Bigelow has submitted a 35-day report that logs her campaign’s financial transactions going back to June 4. During that time, the city council hopeful has received 108 contributions worth a combined sum of $8,555, including $1,930 in smaller donations that don’t meet the threshold for itemization.
Bigelow’s itemized contributions include a couple of donations from the candidate herself. The administrator for Cone Health, who hails from 1710 Hanford Hills in Graham, is credited with $125 in donations to her campaign. Her 35-day report also details the following other contributors:
Dale Aaron, not-employed, 1013 Edith Street, Burlington, $100; Christina Blackwell, representative of a disability company, 1092 Lael Forest Trail, Burlington, $100; Keisha Bluford, self-employed lawyer, 1565 Grace Landing Drive, Mebane, $110; Felisa Francis, a teacher with the Alamance-Burlington school system, 1123 Sharpe Road, Burlington, $100; Dewana Hartley, a tech educator for LinkedIn, 1312 Sellars Mill Road, Burlington, $100;
Diane Heath, sales for an unspecified business, 3027 Maple Avenue, E-1, Burlington, $125;
Alex Hitt, a self-employed farmer, 9418 Perry Road, Graham, $150; Elizabeth Hitt, self-employed, 9418 Perry Road, Graham, $150; W. Jefferson Holt, a self-employed real estate investor with the Village Green Preservation Society, P.O. Box 1029, Carrboro, $3,000; Brad Jones, self-employed in the real estate trade, 2208 Longbrook Drive, Greensboro, $100;
Yasmin Kelly, an underwriter with First Heritage Mortgage, 5013 McKittrick Lane, Durham, $250; Tanya S. Kline, a social worker for the Alamance-Burlington school system, 1211 Brookview Drive, Elon, $100; Prudence Layne, a professor at Elon University, 7301 Ethans Way, Burlington, $150; Becky H. Mock, a retired nonprofit program director, 5563 Thom Road, Mebane, $100; Stephanie Pratt, not-employed, 2512 Ferndale Drive, Burlington, $75;
Steve Robinson, transportation with SRT, 2070 Royce Drive, Mebane, $100; Michael Snipes, a self-employed accountant, 7334 Tracy Lane, Riverdale, GA, $100; the Committee to Elect Ricky Hurtado, P.O. Box 593, Mebane, $500; the North Carolina Democratic Party, 220 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, an in-kind contribution of $500 for Vote Builder software; Natalia Pettiford with Nik Nak Shack, 318 West Kime Street, Burlington, an in-kind contribution of $240 for campaign t-shirts.
Bigelow has also reported two sets of in-kind contributions that her campaign ultimately reimbursed. These include a precinct map worth $12.50 and $165.33 in “walk cards” from Elaine Berry, a retired teacher from 409 Doral Court in Mebane. Bigelow also spent $244 out of pocket for campaign t-shirts and $125 for P.O. Box rentals that her campaign is supposed to pay back. Meanwhile, her 35-day report reveals that the candidate reimbursed a $100 check from B Jones Investments, 925 Harris Street in Burlington, after the contribution from this business was deemed unacceptable.
Byrd set local fundraising records in 2014 when he waged a winning campaign for Alamance County’s board of commissioners.
The retired healthcare administrator, who hails from 2826 Charlotte Lane in Burlington, would go on to make two more unsuccessful bids for the county’s governing board before he registered as a candidate for Burlington’s city council in this year’s election.
Byrd doesn’t set an any new records with the 35-day report for his city council campaign.
According to this submission, the former county commissioner has a loan from himself to thank for $10,000 of the $11,100 in his campaign war chest. The report also credits the candidate with an additional $50 donation to his campaign. Another $50 is attributed to Michael Davis, a manager with Optum, Inc. of 533 Tennis Avenue in Ambler, PA; along with $1,000 from retiree Dag Egede-Nissen of 1880 Brookwood Avenue, Apartment 321, Burlington.
The top fundraiser in this year’s race for Burlington’s city council, incumbent councilman Harold Owen has taken in $37,850 in his bid for reelection. Owen has also identified the following 20 donors in a financial disclosure report that he submitted to the state board of elections in August:
Jim Barnwell, oil distributor with Huffman Oil, 2909 North Fairway Drive, Burlington, $3,000; Rhonda Brown, employment recruiter with the Agency, Inc., 21 Lands End Drive, Greensboro, $1,500; James Coble, retired, P.O. Box 1154, Burlington, $1,500; Terry D. Crenshaw, car dealer with Crenshaw Automotive, P.O. Box 910, Burlington, $2,000; Craig Durham, CPA with R. Craig Durham CPA, 1923 Delaine Drive, Burlington, $1,000;
Nancy Eagle, retired, 2402 Saddle Club Road, Burlington, $300; Albert Freeman, electrical contractor with Freeman Electric, 1888 Fairfield Drive, Burlington, $1,300; Allen E. Gant, Jr., “textiles” for Glen Raven Mills, 1022 West Davis Street, Burlington, $4,000; Sam Hunt, lighting and electrical supplies for Hunt Electric, 161 Via Palma, Palm Beach, FL, $5,600; Sam Hunt IV, lighting and electrical supplies for Hunt Electric, 3021 North Fairway Drive, Burlington, $3,000;
Victoria Hunt, not employed, 161 Via Palma, Palm Beach, FL, $3,000; Ernest Koury, Jr., “textiles” for Carolina Hosiery, P.O. Box 850, Burlington, $2,000; Constance McCall, CPA with Roopes & Gray, 129 Pembroke Street, No. 4, Boston, MA, $250; John C. McDonald, recycling for Green Life Waste Solutions, 900 East Lake Drive, Burlington, $500; James McGill, retired banker, 1915 West Lake Drive, Burlington, $1,000;
Lisa Nichols, car dealer at Nichols Automotive, 509 Truitt Drive, Elon, $5,000; Rodney D. Sharpe, lighting and electrical supplies for Hunt Electric, 1918 Woodhue Drive, Burlington, $100; Dale A. Stearns, car dealer with Stearns Automotive, 100 Turnbury Place, Elon, $2,500; Betty E. Thomas, not employed, 217 Engleman Avenue, Burlington, $200; Susan Walton, retired teacher, 1104 Dunleigh Drive, Burlington, $100.
A retired police officer from1530 Wickham Street in Burlington, Jordan hasn’t filed any campaign finance reports at either the state or the local level.
A retired school system administrator who had served as Burlington’s mayor until 2014, Wall has reported two campaign contributions worth a combined sum of $5,620 in his current campaign for Burlington’s city council.
In a statement of organization that he filed with the local board of elections, this resident of 613 Meadowood Drive credits himself with a $20 in-kind contribution to cover his candidate filing fee. Wall has also disclosed a donation of $5,600 from Sam Hunt, owner of Hunt Electric, whose address is listed as 161 Via Palma, Palm Beach, FL in the candidate’s organizational statement.