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Stephenson, Dashew lead CMS board candidates in fundraising

CMS school board candidates Amelia Stinson-Wesley, Jeremy Stephenson, Mary McCray, Ericka Ellis-Stewart and Levester Flowers (seated, L-R) at a MeckEd forum.
CMS school board candidates Amelia Stinson-Wesley, Jeremy Stephenson, Mary McCray, Ericka Ellis-Stewart and Levester Flowers (seated, L-R) at a MeckEd forum. ahelms@charlotteobserver.com

Challengers Jeremy Stephenson and Elyse Dashew are well ahead of seven other candidates for Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board in fundraising so far, according to reports filed this week.

As for who’s first and who’s second, that depends how you tally it.

Stephenson, a first-time candidate, reports having $43,296. But $20,000 of that is a loan from his wife.

Dashew, making her second run for the board, has apparently raised more in donations. She reports a total of $31,506, with $3,000 in a loan from herself.

Either way, the two of them are pulling in more financial support than the others vying for the three at-large board seats, which will be chosen Nov. 3.

First-time candidate Janeen Bryant reports having raised $11,973. That includes $5,100 from Leadership for Educational Equity, a Washington-based nonprofit that promotes leadership among Teach For America alumni. Bryant was a Teach For America corps member in CMS and now serves as regional director for Leadership for Educational Equity.

Ericka Ellis-Stewart, who is seeking a second term after finishing first in 2011, reports having raised $9,036, similar to the $10,000 she had raised at this point in her last campaign.

Mary McCray, the current board chair and second-place finisher in 2011, tallies $4,475 for this year’s campaign, about half her total at this point in her previous run.

Amelia Stinson-Wesley, who has served an appointed stint on the school board and is making her first run for office, reports a total of $5,458.

Levester Flowers, a first-time board candidate, has raised $1,973. Angela Ambroise, making her first run for public office, and Larry Bumgarner, making his fourth bid for a board seat, don’t plan to raise or spend more than $1,000, which means they weren’t required to file the update.

The whole field combined has raised less than either Dan Clodfelter or Jennifer Roberts, the Charlotte mayoral candidates who face off in a Democratic runoff Tuesday.

You can see who big contributors are and check other details on any Mecklenburg candidate by going to www.meckboe.org and selecting “Candidate finance reports.”

Ann Doss Helms: 704-358-5033, @anndosshelms

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