Mayor Ginger Nelson is fundraising big in 2018. But does that really mean anything?
According to campaign finance reports filed with the City of Amarillo, Ginger Nelson reported major fundraising during the first half of the year. One of the most interesting expenditures on Nelson's report was an expenditure to the Amarillo Country Club for a fundraiser.
It's fine if Nelson wants to have a fundraiser, but country clubbing won't win an election.
Large campaign hauls are often watched closely, but it doesn't guarantee success in elections. Take a look at electoral results in Texas legislative races in 2016, and you will see that many candidates who reported major fundraising were not able to secure a win on election day. This is even the case locally.
In 2016, Unite for Amarillo outraised opponents of municipal bond propositions by a large margin. However, on election day, voters shellacked United for Amarillo, turning down five of seven municipal propositions. In this case, money certainly did not buy an election.
So, it is fine if Mayor Ginger Nelson wants to have country club fundraisers for her campaign. However, she needs to remember that average Amarilloans don't care about big, fancy fundraisers. Instead, Amarilloans care about which candidate will offer the best vision and platform for every person in the community.
Voters also care about which candidate makes the most sense for how they want to see government run. Major campaign hauls might look nice, but even Austin consultants may have a difficult time polishing up the scandal-ridden events of this year at City Hall. After all, voters are a lot smarter than political consultants give them credit for.
In 2019, we will see what happens. Let's hope that voters see through the country club polish to decide which candidates actually offer the best solutions for our city, instead of grand promises and failures to deliver.
-Thomas Warren III, Editor-in-Chief