The Ward 1 Money Race | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

The Ward 1 Money Race

From left to right: Dorsey Carson, Amile Wilson, Richard Sellers, Ashby Foote and Charles Barbour

From left to right: Dorsey Carson, Amile Wilson, Richard Sellers, Ashby Foote and Charles Barbour Photo by Trip Burns.

The race for the Ward 1 seat on Jackson City Council is nearing its end. Voters will go to the polls tomorrow, Dec. 2, to pick new representation. After that, they will likely go back to the voting booth on Dec. 16 to decide a runoff election.

The campaign-finance reports—and lack thereof—due last week just before the Thanksgiving holiday are, as they are in every election, telling.

Attorney Dorsey Carson brought in the greatest amount of contributions at $53,000 from more than 100 contributors. Through Nov. 22, the reporting deadline, Carson spent $19,000 on his campaign, leaving him with almost $34,000 in cash on hand. Most of Carson's expenditures appeared to be for printing campaign materials and paying for consultants and meals.

The No. 2 money leader was investment professional Ashby Foote. Almost 30 individual contributors gave Foote between $250 and $1,000, with three giving $5,000. Businessman Leland R. Speed represented one of two $5,000 donations to Foote; C Spire co-founder Wade Creekmore of Ridgeland also gave $5,000. Like other candidates, Foote used a good chunk of the $23,600 he has spent so far on printing. Foote also gave $3,000 to Republican state Sen. Sally Doty of Brookhaven for campaign management and advising. Together, his contributions totaled nearly $36,000.

Records for Ashby and Suzie Foote show that five state and federal lax liens were assessed between 1996 and 2012 totaling $164,537. Foote, who founded Vector Money Management, told the Jackson Free Press that the unpaid taxes were a result of getting behind during times of economic downturn.

While other investment firms were going through big lay-offs and going out of business, Foote said he made the decision not to lay anyone off at his small firm, "and that's one of the reasons we got into a bind on the tax liability." He said he has made a plan with the IRS to pay back what he still owes on the 2012 lien, a current balance of around $60,000 from the original total $75,763, over the next three years.

Charles Barbour, a former member of the Hinds County Board of Supervisors, raised $20,000. His uncle, former Gov. Haley Barbour, gave $1,000 , and another $1,000 came from oilman and "One Lake" plan developer John McGowan. Barbour spent more than $15,000, with about half going to Winning Edge Communications, a Ridgeland-based direct-mail company.

Media-services entrepreneur Amile Wilson raised $17,500 from roughly 20 contributors, including $4,000 from his own pocket. Wilson spent $13,500, much of which went to printing and advertising.

Bob Hickingbottom, a controversial political-opposition operative who typically works behind the scenes on campaigns, has not reported any campaign finances as of press time.

To see each candidate's campaign finance report, visit jfp.ms/ward1. Read the JFP's endorsement of Dorsey Carson here.

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