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Ted James poaches donors from both candidates in 2020 mayoral race

1 week 2 days 18 hours ago Monday, May 13 2024 May 13, 2024 May 13, 2024 5:44 PM May 13, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - For every dollar that veteran politician but first-time mayoral candidate Ted James has raised so far this election cycle, incumbent Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome has picked up only 60 cents.

"Usually an incumbent is someone that the status quo does not want to upset, so the fact that he's out-raised her in that time periodit definitely shows a huge momentum shift in his favor," said Jason Hebert with The Political Firm.

James raised nearly $508,000 to Broome's $305,000.

"Our fundraising numbers show that people are not only looking for new leadership and vision, but they want to invest in it and they're putting their resources on the table so that we can get our message out across the entire parish," James said.

However, Broome says they show something else.

"His report is very revelatory because many of the people on his report are people who have been involved in dividing and segregating this community," Broome said.

Namely Eddie Rispone, a former Republican gubernatorial candidate and big-time St. George supporter. In 2020 he and his wife gave $15,000 to Broome's opponent, Steve Carter. This election he's given $1,000 to James.

But that's just a small portion of what Carter's other supporters have thrown at James receiving more than $53,000 from them.

"When people donate to your campaign, they donate because they support your vision, not the other way around," James said.

James also got a large chunk of his donations from a number of Broome's former supporters in 2020 more than $40,000.

"This is not a personal attack on Mayor Broome. I have a difference in belief of where Baton Rouge is and where Baton Rouge should be."

Both candidates claim their reports show broad support from both sides of the aisle.

"I'm an independent free thinker and I'm not going to sell out City Hall or this community," Broome said.

Hebert says if and when a Republican joins the race, the tide will likely turn.

"This race is still so far undeveloped but you have to look at this thing as the world exists today and think that Ted James is going to be a very serious candidate."

The next campaign finance report will come out in August, and the election will take place Nov. 5.

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