EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Elections for four El Paso Independent School District school board positions are less than a month away and campaign contributions are rolling in.
Candidates turned in required 30-day campaign finance reports showing $23,594 have been raised by individuals vying for spots on the school board. The 17 candidates also reported $18,328 in expenses, according to reports.
The totals do not completely reflect the income and expenses of all campaigns, as not all forms have been uploaded to the school district’s website.
School district officials say they have uploaded everything they received from campaigns. The website is missing reports for Frances De Santos Whitaker, incumbent Diane Dye, Claudia Soto and Jerome Tilghman.
The reporting period for the campaign reports are for finances between Jan. 1 and March 22. Elections for school board districts 1, 3, 4 and 5 are on May 1.
Most financial influence comes from a political action committee that has made $5,175 in-kind contributions to a select group of candidates. And, has pledged $3,640 more.
El Paso businessmen and charter school advocates are behind the Kids First of El Paso Political Action Committee. Several board directors of the Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development have contributed more than $60,000 to the PAC, according to a finance report.
Funders behind the PAC have traditionally made contributions to local educational efforts but have also received backlash for supporting the growth of the charter school market.
In-kind contributions and pledged funds show money from the PAC is being used for advertising and printing materials for select candidates. The PAC has listed support for Leslie Hoard, Isabel Hernandez, Israel Irrobali and Jennie Tipton Lasley.
Lasley’s campaign finance report does not show itemized donations and contributions. But the PAC’s finance report shows it has contributed a $2,018 expense for printing and advertisement for Lasley.
There are three candidates in the District 1 race. It covers the West Side, Downtown, Segundo Barrio and the Chamizal communities.
The race is between Arturo Dominguez, Leah Hanany and Jennie Tipton Lasley. They are looking to replace board president Bob Geske, who is not running for reelection.
In total, the candidates reported receiving $4,064 and $2,928 in expenses.
Dominguez reported receiving $2,090 in contributions and $1,916 in expenditures. Most donations coming from friends and family. He also loaned himself $4,000.
His report shows he is spending his money on a website, door hangers, campaign photos and voter data.
Hanany reported $1,074 in contributions mostly from friends and family. And, her finance documents say she has made $483 in expenditures going to literature and access to the Texas Democratic Party’s Voter Action Network.
Lasley’s report only shows how much money she has received in donations and how much money she has spent. Parts of her report that would explain donations and expenses is missing.
Based on a PAC report, she has received support for printing material and for voter outreach.
There are three candidates in the District 3 race, which covers Central El Paso and parts of the Northeast.
The race is between incumbent Josh Acevedo, Rene Fierro and Leslie Hoard. The candidates have brought in a total of $2,675 in contributions and have made $5,122 in expenditures.
Acevedo reported $950 in monetary donations and $1,774 in expenditures. Most funds going to literature and outreach.
Fierro did not report donations or expenditures in his report.
Hoard reported $1,725 in non-monetary contributions and $1,623 pledged donations. She also reported $3,348 in expenditures.
Her report lists receiving $1,500 in-kind support from the PAC for voter engagement and $225 for printed materials. And, she recorded $1,365 for mailers and $258 for graphic design from the Kids First PAC.
There are six candidates in the District 4 race. Five individuals are challenging incumbent Diane Dye for the seat that represents a portion of Northeast El Paso.
The race includes Betty Ann Halliburton, Isabel Hernandez, Fainot Pierre, Claudia Soto and Frances De Santos Whitaker.
The school district’s website does not show reports for Dye, Soto and Whitaker. Totals do not completely reflect how much money has been raised and spent due to their absent campaign finance reports.
From the information that is available, in total, the candidates have brought in $2,435 from reported monetary contributions. And, they have spent $4,429.
Betty Ann Halliburton reported a $2,000 contribution from the El Paso American Federation of Teachers and $95 in expenses.
Isabel Hernandez reported $250 in monetary contributions but has mostly received in-kind contributions from the PAC. She also listed $3,336 in expenses.
Hernandez reported in-kind donations from the PAC worth $1,500 for voter engagement and $225 in printing expenses. She’s also reported pledges worth $750 for mailers and $258 for graphic design from the PAC.
Fainot Pierre reported $185 in monetary contributions and $998 in expenses.
There are five candidates in the District five race, which covers a portion of Northeast El Paso. The race is between Vanessa Betts, Willeta I. Corbett, Stephen W. Hayes Sr., Israel Irrobali, and Jerome Tilghman.
The candidates are looking to replace Chuck Taylor, who is not running for reelection.
In total, the candidates raised $14,419 in monetary contributions, which is the most among the four races. And, they have spent $5,848.
Vanessa Betts reported $3,440 in monetary contributions and $981 in expenditures. Most notably, she received $2,000 from the El Paso American Federation of Teachers and $1,000 from former city Rep. Sam Morgan.
Betts also received a $500 non-monetary contribution from former City Council candidate Wesley Lawrence for web services.
She listed expenses for advertising, yard signs, flyers and an online donation service.
Willeta Corbett reported $6,425 in monetary and non-monetary contributions along with $2,601 in expenses.
Corbett reported expenses for advertising, printing, office supplies and postage.
Hayes reported $1,629 in monetary contributions and 1,429 in-kind donations. She also reported $1,129 in expenses.
The candidate listed advertisement, website and printing services under her expenditures.
Irrobali reported $2,925 in monetary and in-kind contributions along with $1,136 in expenditures.
He listed a $1,500 in-kind voter engagement contribution and a $225 printing donation from the PAC. He has also listed pledged contributions of $750 for mailers and $258 for graphic design on mailers from the PAC.
His report lists expenses for food, printing and access to the Texas Democratic Party’s voter action network.
Tilghman’s report is missing from the EPISD website.