October 24, 2016

Incumbents In IPS Board Race Post Massive Fundraising Lead Over Challengers

Incumbent candidates in the school board election for Indianapolis Public Schools have far outraised their challengers in campaign cash and other support for the Nov. 8 election, according to finance reports filed with the county election board.

At-large candidate Sam Odel brought in the most donations at $37,011. He is running for reelection against two other candidates who have raised a combined total of around $5,000.

Odel’s largest direct and in-kind donations came from: Indianapolis philanthropist Al Hubbard ($5,000); MIBOR Realtors PAC ($4,223.60): and Indiana Chamber of Commerce PAC ($3,000).

First-time candidate Venita J. Moore in District 2 raised the second highest amount with $23,448.14. Her biggest direct and in-kind donations were: Indiana Chamber of Commerce PAC ($5,000), MIBOR Realtors PAC ($2,462.80) and  $2,000 from Reid Litwack and Liz Lahr, Litwack is a former board president at charter school KIPP Indianapolis and owner of construction supply company Steel House.

In total, the IPS race has brought in just more than $105,000 for eight candidates. As of Monday night, two candidates had yet to file their finance reports with the Marion County Election Board. The deadline was Friday.

In-state donors are making nearly all the large and small donations for the candidates, unlike in 2012 when the race saw three winning candidates raise a collective $200,000, in part through large out-of-state contributions.

Here is a breakdown by district race:

Samuel L. Odle, incumbent - $37,011.23
Jim Grim - $4,805
Elizabeth M. Gore - $250

District 1
Michael O'Connor, incumbent - $22,442.50
Christine M. Prince - $50

District 2
Venita J. Moore - $23,448.14
Ramon L. Batts - $950
Nanci E. Lacy -- did not file

District 4
Diane Arnold, incumbent - $16,353.60
Larry Vaughn -did not file report

Contact WFYI education reporter Eric Weddle at eweddle@wfyi.org or call (317) 614-0470. Follow on Twitter: @ericweddle.

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