Despite campaign contributions by both, only one of two West University political action committees filed the legally required “eight-day before election” Texas spending report due Friday — and mayoral candidate Susan Sample was missing a $5,000 contribution on her report that one PAC declared it had made to support her.
With a week to the election for mayor and all four City Council seats, the reports for just one month, from March 24 to April 21, tell the tale of what is likely West University’s most expensive election ever — with gaps.
All candidates who planned to spend more than $900 to promote their campaigns were required to file Form C/OH, and all did.
Perhaps the greatest object of curiosity was the introduction of PACs into the traditional small-town election process.
The West U Residents for Youth Sports PAC reported contributions of $16,621 and spending of $8,229. Expenditures reported included the $5,000 contribution to the Sample campaign, and $1,500 to the Village News.
The largest contributors to the PAC were Michael Dellinger, $5,000; Maynard Holt, $2,000; and West U Tri-Sports Sports Association President Gregg Thompson, who kicked in $4,000. Thompson also made a non-monetary political contribution of $1,000 for gift cards that were distributed to campaign volunteers.
State election law requires the same “eight-day before election” filing from PACs using Form GPAC, the General Purpose Committee Campaign Finance Report. As of 3:30 p.m. Saturday, the second West U PAC, West U Residents for Better Leadership, had still not filed, although it did fund at least three campaign mailings and one video infomercial.
Essentials/InstantNews left a voicemail with the PAC’s treasurer, Robert Doty, on Friday night, but he has not responded.
In the mayor’s race, Susan Sample reported contributions of $2,025 for the filing period and spent $2,892 — missing the $5,000 contribution claimed by the youth sports PAC as having been made on April 7. Essentials/Instant News reached out Friday night to both Sample and the PAC treasurer, Lee Thweatt, for clarification, but have received no response.
Sample’s opponent, Kevin Trautner, a current councilmember and mayor pro tem, reported contributions of $1,700 and expenditures of $10,072 for the period — $8,405 of which was from Trautner’s personal funds.
Both mayoral candidates’ expenses included payments to professional political consultants.
The City Council candidates showed a few contributions, but most of the council campaigns were primarily self-funded, and the only expenditures were yard signs, advertising and printing.
Early voting continues through Tuesday (April 27) at West University City Hall. Hours are from noon-7 p.m. Sunday (April 25), from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday; and from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday.
The general election takes place Saturday, May 1, with voting from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. at West University City Hall, 3801 University Blvd.; Southside Place Park Clubhouse, 3743 Garnet St., and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 5308 Buffalo Speedway.