Former Wake County Commissioner Caroline Sullivan, who has been relatively quiet since announcing her campaign for Raleigh mayor in March, just announced an eye-popping $215,000 haul in first fundraising period, counting more than four hundred donors, according to a press release. 

“This far outpaces any candidate that has run for mayor in recent history and demonstrates strong momentum leading into filing,” according to a press release. 

Earlier this week, attorney Charles Francis, who lost to outgoing mayor Nancy McFarlane in 2017, announced that he had raised more than $150,000 from more than 275 donors. 

Former city council member Mary-Ann Baldwin has not yet released her campaign numbers—though she, too, has proven to be a prolific fundraiser in previous campaigns. Zainab Baloch does not appear to have released her fundraising totals yet either. 

In the only public poll of the race, conducted by Fallon Research and Communications, Sullivan placed fourth out of four with just 4 percent support, behind Francis (17 percent), Baldwin (15 percent), and Zainab Baloch (5 percent). (A fifth announced candidate, George Knott, was not included.) But most voters—nearly 60 percent—said they were undecided—and the survey had a relatively high margin of error. 

In other words, it’s a wide-open field. 

Having $180,000 cash on hand heading into the heart of summer, as Sullivan’s email boasts that she does, won’t hurt.

Contact editor in chief Jeffrey C. Billman at 

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2 replies on “Holy Crap, the Raleigh Mayoral Election Is Going to Be EXPENSIVE”

  1. There are two types of Raleigh mayors; rich people who don’t care about the job and everyone else who’s bad at it.

  2. The only thing your story and headline indicates to me is that BIG MONEY is supporting Sullivan for Mayor. Great! What a turn-off. The swamp has officially arrived in Raleigh. I think people – that would be voters – are turned off by excessive spending on campaigns with no worthy candidate to back it up.

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