Parker outraising, outspending Davis

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Bettie Parker


By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Monday, September 11, 2017

Bettie Parker has outraised and outspent Sam Davis III in Elizabeth City’s mayoral race, recent campaign reports show. 

Ahead of the city’s Oct. 10 election, candidates for mayor and city council who’ve raised or spent more than $1,000 were required to submit “35-day reports” last week.

Parker, a Pasquotank County commissioner and retired math teacher, crossed that threshold before Davis, a real estate broker and former Pasquotank commissioner who also ran for mayor in 2015.

However, Parker’s report also showed her campaign was running a deficit when she turned it in. Parker listed contributions totaling $2,040 but campaign expenditures thus far of $2,806.

Parker explained in an email last week that the deficit occurred because her paperwork listed the full cost of a billboard she rented, about $1,200, but she only had to pay the deposit for it so far. Elections staff advised her it was OK to turn in the form as-is, she said.

Parker said subsequent fundraising will more than close the almost $800 shortfall in her campaign account. She noted she’s received a generous donation from a supporter, Curtis Wrenn, in the amount of $1,000 that will be listed on her next report.

Davis, who was also outspent in 2015 when he ran against Mayor Joe Peel, said Parker’s spending so far doesn’t concern him. He’s planning to run a good campaign and expects to cross the $1,000 threshold soon, he said.

Davis declined to detail exactly what spending he’s planning, though he noted yard signs are already going up around the community.

The spending in this year’s mayoral race so far pales in comparison to the 2015 race, when Peel raised some $17,000 toward his re-election bid. Peel is not seeking re-election, but has endorsed Parker.

Pasquotank County Board of Elections staff report that, among the city’s 15 city council candidates, only First Ward hopeful Billy Caudle has had more than $1,000 in campaign activity. Caudle is one five candidates seeking two open seats in the First Ward; the others are Frank Caruso, Bridget Colbert, Alice Redding and Jeannie Young.

Caudle’s report shows his committee started with $1,100 cash on hand and raised $675 from individuals. He spent $1,441 through the reporting period, all of it for yard signs.

Parker’s campaign report identifies numerous contributors to her campaign. Notable donors include: Pasquotank Commissioner Bill Sterritt and his wife, Patricia, who donated $100 each; local attorney and a Peel campaign worker, Tony Hornthal, who donated $100; Peel’s wife, Carolyn, who donated $100; Elizabeth City Regional Airport Chairman Johnny Houston, who donated $50; and Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Board of Education member Virginia Houston,  Houston’s wife, who also donated $50.

Notable donors to Caudle’s campaign include Hornthal, who gave the candidate $100, his report shows.