Mark Andrew far ahead in Minneapolis mayoral money race

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    Oct. 29, 2013 Curtis Gilbert reports on the Minneapolis mayoral race

Minneapolis mayoral candidate Mark Andrew and a political action committee backing him have together raised $200,000 more than any other campaign.

Coalition for a Better Minneapolis, an independent PAC running T.V. ads and sending mail promoting Andrew’s candidacy, reported raising $136,500 in campaign finance documents filed today.

In a campaign document released Monday, Andrews reported $420,000 in contributions.

Andrew’s closest competitor, Betsy Hodges raised $307,000. A PAC backing her, Committee for a Greater Minneapolis, raised less than $39,000.

Here’s a chart showing how the eight leading campaigns stacked up.

Former City Council Member Dan Cohen continued to finance his campaign almost entirely out of his own pocket. He has poured $334,000 into the effort.

The remaining five candidates have raised significantly smaller sums. Former City Council Member Jackie Cherryhomes also has a PAC backing her, but Minneapolis Forward didn’t file its campaign finance report by the end of the business day. Minneapolis Forward raised $50,600.

City Council Member Don Samuels hasn’t yet filed his report. But his campaign manager said he has raised about $145,000 and has $72,000 on hand. That’s even more cash on hand than Andrew reported, but Samuels doesn’t have the benefit of PAC backing.

Unlike campaigns, which can only accept donations of $500 or less, PACs face no contribution limits.

The PACs backing Andrew and Hodges are funded primarily by labor unions. The AFL-CIO, Teamsters and Minneapolis Firefighters all contributed to the pro-Andrew PAC. The pro-Hodges group is bankrolled largely by SEIU.

UPDATE 10/30: The pro-Cherryhomes PAC is funded almost entirely by business interests, including a $20,000 gift from AGT Enterprises, based in Miami Beach, Fla. The company shares an address with FJ Pollak, president of TracFone, who previously contributed $500 to Cherryhomes’ campaign.

The pro-Andrew group got a $25,000 check from former West Publishing president Vance Opperman, and the pro-Hodges one got $13,000 from green transportation entrepreneur Shay Berkowitz.

Editor’s note: When this story was first published, it incorrectly stated that Minneapolis Forward had not filed its report on time. The PAC did file its report by the deadline, but the representative who filed the report declined to identify himself when approached by a reporter.