Candidates taking more moderate stances on policing in Minneapolis are out-raising their opponents who want to replace the city's current police department.
Driving the news: Campaign finance reports for the period of January through July were due on Tuesday and made public over recent days.
Why it matters: Money helps candidates organize, raise their profile and get their message out. But city wards are small and money only goes so far.
- In 2017, pro-business donors raised big money to support moderate council candidates, only to see more liberal ones win those races.
The big picture: Mayor Jacob Frey raised $383,900, which is more than his two main opponents combined. Kate Knuth raised $136,700, and Sheila Nezhad $119,400.
Zoom in: A number of more moderate candidates in city council races also reported bigger hauls than their incumbent opponents, who have been supportive of replacing the Minneapolis Police Department.
- Michael Rainville out-raised incumbent Steve Fletcher in Ward 3, $75,000 to $24,000.
- LaTrisha Vetaw out-raised incumbent Phillipe Cunningham in Ward 4, $49,000 to $29,000.
- In Ward 11, challenger Emily Koski reported a haul of $69,400, blowing away incumbent Jeremy Schroeder, who raised $15,300.
What they're saying: "On the progressive side, raising money has never been the main focus in Minneapolis, or the key to winning," said Kenza Hadj-Moussa of TakeAction Minnesota. "It's typically been in the field through conversations and talking to people, door-to-door."
Yes, but: Progressive donors have also been giving to the Yes 4 Minneapolis political fund that's pushing for a charter amendment to allow to the city to replace MPD.
- That group raised nearly $1 million in cash and in-kind donations, to go along with $500,000 it raised last year.
Meanwhile: AllofMpls, a fund opposing that amendment and supporting one that would strengthen the mayor's position, has raised $109,500. But it only launched three weeks ago and will be raising more.
Between the lines: Heavy spending on the charter amendment could mobilize voters across the city, tipping the scales in other contests.
- "There's no question that the spending on the ballot propositions could have a big impact on the ... mayor or city council [races]," Hamline University political science professor David Schultz told us. "But the question is whose turnout does it drive more."
What's ahead: Campaigns have been relatively quiet this summer, but expect to see things pick up toward the end of the month.