District 2 candidate raises $17K

Apr. 30, 2014 @ 07:06 PM

With several large contributions from out-of-state donors, District 2 school board candidate Jimmy Doster has raised more money than any of the other 12 candidates vying to fill the four seats up for grabs on the school board.

According to first-quarter financial reports submitted to the Durham Board of Elections this week, Doster raised $17,051, which was nearly double the amount raised by the candidate with the second highest total, Sendolo Diaminah. He received contributions totaling $9,484.

Doster’s ample campaign war chest was padded by $4,301 of his own money, $2,500 from Barbara Doster of Waynesville, Ohio, and several $1,000 contributions from out-of-state and North Carolina contributors.

Diaminah was the beneficiary of a $2,500 contribution from the N.C. Association of Educators Political Action Committee for Education.  

The political action committee also gave $1,000 to District 3 candidate Matt Sears, whose $6,641 was the third largest amount raised by school board candidates.

The money from the NCAE’s PAC was by far the largest contribution received by either Diaminah or Sears. Neither received any other contribution from individuals totaling more than $500, and the majority of their donors were Durham residents.

Doster’s large contributions from non-Durham residents were criticized by fellow District 2 candidates Diaminah and Donald Hughes.

Hughes said the influx of out-of-state money into the school board race is disturbing and mirrors what’s happening in Raleigh, particularly on the Republican side of the aisle.

“They’re trying to buy this election, but I think the voters are smarter than that,” Hughes said.

Diaminah was also critical of Doster’s out-of-state contributions.

“North Carolina has seen folks like Jimmy Doster do this before, use money to flood the electoral process.” Diaminah said. “I’m really proud that my support overwhelmingly comes from parents, teachers, community leaders and others who support improving public education in Durham.”    

Doster anticipated criticism of such large donations from out-of-state and sought to get ahead of it in a news release. 

He said the money he raised is needed to help challenge the “powerful status quo” in Durham. 

“I will accept no criticism of my fund-raising quarter, which is needed to deliver my message to Durham District 2 voters,” Doster said.

He added he is honored by the support he’s received from the community, friends and family.

“I have not received any contributions from special interest groups or lobbyists,” Doster said. “I am not relying on the stale network of the local PACs.”

No other candidate raised more than $5,000.

Hughes raised $4,000 and District 3 candidate Lisa Gordon Stella raided $4,182.

Terrence Scarborough, a District 2 candidate, raised $2,696, DeWarren Langley, also a District 2 candidate, $1,887.

District 3 candidate Deborah Bryson raised $1,505 and District 1 incumbent Omega Curtis Parker raised $1,065.

The other candidates in the school board race did not raise more than $1,000 and so were not required to file a first-quarter report.