Wilbanks leads Warner Robins City Council Post 4 fundraising

chwright@macon.comOctober 29, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- Bob Wilbanks, who is seeking to reclaim the seat he gave up two years ago, has raised the most funds for the Post 4 special election, according to state-required campaign contribution forms.

Wilbanks is also the only candidate to have technically followed the correct campaign filing schedule, though his two opponents said they followed the state’s directions. Nonetheless, all have filed at least one form relaying their campaign finances.

Inside the reports

Wilbanks, 53, has received $4,935 in contributions. He loaned the campaign $1,960 in advance of other contributions to pay for expenses and has not paid himself back. His largest outside contribution was $1,500 from Dunkin’ Donuts owner Lalu Patel.

Wilbanks has spent his campaign funds on voter lists, a website, campaign signs and T-shirts. He spent $1,952.

As of his Oct. 24 filing, he had $2,983 on hand.

Tim Thomas, a 50-year-old local businessman, has received $1,073 as of his last filing. He and his wife contributed $468 to the campaign.

He spent $856, most of it in the early part of his campaign. He has bought signs, T-shirts, stickers and an International City Festival booth.

Thomas had $217 on hand as of Oct. 27.

Campbell, a 54-year-old intelligence systems program manager, has received about $3,485 -- $2,886 of which he loaned to the campaign.

He spent $2,885. The majority of his funds have gone to yard signs. He also bought a web domain, website development and office supplies.

Campbell had $600 on hand as of Oct. 21.

Fines

Campbell and Thomas each received $125 fines for failing to file campaign contribution forms, even though they have each filed two such forms.

The Post 4 race is a special election, though it appears on the Nov. 5 general election ballot, because Mike Brashear abandoned the seat early to run for mayor.

Therefore, the state filing deadlines are a bit different than those for the other Warner Robins races. For the general election, campaign contribution forms were due Sept. 30 and Oct. 25. For the special election, forms were due Oct. 21.

Campbell and Thomas said they spoke to the state early in their campaigns and asked specifically which filing schedule they should use and followed that advice.

“He had said since the election day was the same as everyone else’s, then I should follow the general election rules,” Campbell said.

Thomas said he has tried to be diligent with his filings.

“That’s going to make us look like we don’t know what we’re doing,” Thomas said.

The next form for the Post 4 race is due Dec. 31, the same as the other races. In essence, Thomas and Campbell have filed more forms than necessary, but the system doesn’t recognize them as the right forms.

Thomas has also been fined $125 for a missing personal financial disclosure form but said he sent the form in via certified mail.

To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.

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