First General Reports for the 2012 campaign reveal that Councilor Vincent Chiravalle (R) and Kristin Henderson (D) are by far the biggest fundraisers in the race to fill three council seats.
But a closer look at both primary and general election reports reveal interesting patterns in terms of where the money is coming from.
The question of how much spending influences elections — as opposed to other factors such as grassroots campaigning — may never be resolved. But money does have the ability to influence the outcome of elections.
So far, Chiravalle has raised a total of $3,935 since the campaign season began, with $500 of that being a contribution to his own campaign.
Chiravalle also has raised more out-of-county money than any other candidates, with $1,885 coming from Los Alamos county residents and $1,550 coming from outside donors, mostly from New Jersey. Joseph Rinaldi of Carteret, N.J., contributed $1,300.
When asked about these large outside contributions, Chiravalle replied, “I have received donations for my re-election campaign from my supporters, family and friends. Joseph Rinaldi is my uncle.”