City Councilman Jon Baliles, a rumored hopeful in the city’s 2016 mayoral race, has hired the fundraising consultant who worked for two winning Republican Senate candidates in the last statewide election cycle.
In campaign finance reports covering the last six months of 2015, Baliles disclosed a $5,000 payment made to Emily Barrett Hovis last December. Hovis, a city resident who resides in Baliles' near West End council district, worked for Glen Sturtevant and Siobhan Dunnavant’s respective senate campaigns in 2015, records available through the State Board of Elections show.
Sturtevant’s campaign committee reported payments totaling more than $44,000 to Hovis from April to the end of 2015 for fundraising consulting. The Republican spent $1.95 million in what was one of the most expensive senate races in state history.
Dunnavant’s committee paid Hovis more than $25,700 during the same period. Additionally, former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s committee reported paying Hovis $31,548 for her work with his 2013 gubernatorial campaign, campaign finance records show.
Baliles, who has said he is interested in a mayoral run, confirmed via text that he had hired Hovis for fundraising. Asked for what she would be helping him fundraise, he replied “2016” with a sunglasses face emoji. Baliles reported raising $7,000 in the last six months of 2015.
Other footnotes from recently filed campaign finance reports:
- Northside Councilman Chris Hilbert raised $16,700. Most of his donations came in the month of December. He also loaned himself $10,000. Hilbert, who also has expressed interest in running for mayor, has spent substantial sums on council runs in the past, but his activity outpaces current council incumbents by far.
- City Council President and mayoral candidate Michelle Mosby raised less than $3,000 in the second half of 2015, despite announcing her intention to run for mayor in August.
- Developer Charlie Diradour raised $20,000, virtually all of which came after the statewide elections in November. Diradour unsuccessfully ran for city council in 2012 against Charles Samuels in the Fan-anchored 2nd council district. Samuels announced last year that he would not seek reelection.