Winner of City Council race raised, spent more than opponents

Nicole Kowalski's campaign received more than $11,000 in monetary contributions

Phil Keren
Kent Weeklies
Kowalski

HUDSON — The winner of the city council election raised and spent more money in her campaign than her two opponents combined.

On Tuesday, Nicole Kowalski prevailed in a three-candidate special election to fill an At-Large council seat for one year. Dr. J. Daniel Williams resigned from the post in March and the matter went to a special election after council was unable to reach a consensus on Williams' replacement. Kowalski received 5,111 votes (40.3%), while Sarah G. Norman garnered 4,760 (37.6%) and Sherif Mansour tallied 2,801 (22.1%), according to final but unofficial results from the Summit County Board of Elections.

The trio recently submitted their pre-election campaign finance reports to the board of elections. The deadline to submit the report was Oct. 22 for monetary activity that occurred through Oct. 14. Kowalski and Norman both submitted their reports by the deadline. Mansour said there "was some confusion in my camp" on whether the report had to be submitted to the board by Oct. 22 or postmarked by that date. He said when one of his opponents notified him the board needed it by Oct. 22, he hand-delivered the report to the board office on Oct. 26. The report was not posted on the board website as of Nov. 5, but Mansour provided a copy to the Hub-Times.

Kowalski's campaign committee, Friends of Nicole Kowalski, brought forward $100 from its previous report and received $11,620 in monetary contributions and reported $1,000 in total other income (a loan from Kowalski to the committee), which gave the committee $12,720 in total funds available. The committee reported $7,891.54 in monetary expenditures, leaving a balance on hand of $4,828.46.

Kowalski's committee received 92 separate $100 contributions, including ones from Hudson City Council President Bill Wooldredge (At Large), City Council members Hal DeSaussure (At Large) and Kate Schlademan (Ward 1), State Rep. Casey Weinstein (D-37th District), State Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-34th District), former Hudson Mayor William Currin, and Summit County Clerk of Courts Sandra Kurt.

Friends of Nicole Kowalski reported receiving $260.85 in in-kind contributions, including $99 worth of photography services from Phillip Botta of Northfield. The remaining in-kind contributions were all made by Kowalski herself through items such as a campaign website, the candidate filing fee and copies of petitions.

Kowalski's committee's highest expenditures were five payments of $3,383.66 to Streamline CLE for mailers and post cards, and five separate payments totaling $1,913.50 to Copley Ohio Newspapers Inc. for newspaper advertisements.

Mansour's campaign committee, Friends of Sherif Mansour, did not bring forward any money from its previous report, but received $3,695 in monetary contributions and reported $200 in total other income, which gave the committee $3,895 in total funds available. The committee reported $1,585.05 in monetary expenditures, leaving a balance on hand of $2,309.95.

Friends of Sherif Mansour reported 31 separate $100 contributions, including ones from Weinstein and former Ward 2 City Council member Lisa Radigan. Mansour's committee also reported receiving a $50 contribution from current Ward 3 City Council member Skylar Sutton.

The $200 listed as "other income" on the report was cash that Mansour contributed to his committee.

Mansour's committee paid $1,459.08 to Fastsigns Bedford Heights for promotional yard signs and $125.97 to the FedEx office for color copies.

Norman's committee, Friends of Sarah G. Norman, did not bring forward any money from its previous report, but received $6,035 in monetary contributions, which gave the committee that same amount in total funds available. The committee reported $5,054.55 in monetary expenditures, leaving a balance on hand of $980.45. The report also listed $785.90 in outstanding debt owed by the committee.

Friends of Sarah G. Norman reported 55 separate $100 contributions, including ones from City Council members Chris Foster (Ward 2) and Beth Bigham (Ward 4), as well as Ohioans for Mike Rasor, Sutton also donated $50 to Norman's campaign committee.

The highest expenses for Norman's committee were four separate payments totaling $2,475 to the United State Postal Service and two separate payments totaling $634.49 to Hotcards for post cards.

Of the $785.90 in outstanding debt, the committee still owes $582.01 to Norman for signs, $181.41 to Norman for shirts and cards, and $22.48 to Norman for checks.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at pkeren@recordpub.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.