Biggest spenders in San Antonio’s May 6 election

Campaign finance reports detail campaign spending through April 26

SAN ANTONIO – With early voting for the May 6 election now done, new campaign finance reports show just how much money each candidate or campaign has spent so far in their quest to sway voters.

The latest reports were posted on the City of San Antonio’s website as of Tuesday morning and cover the period from Mar. 28 through Apr. 26. To get a fuller picture of the races, KSAT also analyzed campaign finance reports going back to July 1, 2022.

However, 92% of the reported $3,710,181 spent in the run-up to the May 6 election has happened since the start of February.

That tally only includes the candidates and four specific-purpose political committees (SPACs) listed on the city’s website.

The battle over the controversial Proposition A is the most expensive race in the city election by far with three different SPACs spending a combined $2.2 million. It’s a lopsided battle, though, with Prop A’s opponents outspending supporters by a nearly 9-to-1 margin.

The police union-controlled SPAC, Protect SA, has spent nearly as much as every other SPAC or candidate in the May 6 election combined.

READ MORE: Police union spends $1.8M fighting Prop A

Six of the 11 races for city council or mayor resulted in roughly $100,000 worth of expenditures or more, although a single candidate did the majority of the spending in all of those races except the District 1 race.

Even then, Councilman Mario Bravo accounted for 49% of the expenditures in that race. He and the other eight incumbents are all outspending their opponents so far.

The District 7 and District 10 races have no incumbents, with Ana Sandoval resigning her seat earlier in the year and Councilman Clayton Perry deciding not to run for re-election after a drunken hit-and-run crash in November.

MOST EXPENSIVE RACES

This is the total money spent in each race between July 1 and Apr. 26, according to campaign finance records on the City of San Antonio’s website. A total of $3,710,181 in expenditures was reported during this period. The percentage after each entry shows how much of that sum was spent in that race.

  1. Proposition A - $2,176,839 (58.7%)
  2. Mayor - $637,341 (17.2%)
  3. District 1 - $189,643 (5.1%)
  4. District 10 - $138,618 (3.7%)
  5. District 9 - $108,105 (2.9%)
  6. District 2 - $102,805 (2.8%)
  7. District 7 - $99,965 (2.7%)
  8. District 6 - $74,623 (2%)
  9. District 8 - $67,894 (1.8%)
  10. District 3 - $45,986 (1.2%)
  11. District 4 - $34,913 (0.9%)
  12. District 5 - $33,449 (0.9%)

BIGGEST SPENDERS

These specific-purpose political committees (SPAC) or candidates spent at least $10,000 between July 1 and Apr. 26, according to campaign finance records on the City of San Antonio’s website. A total of $3,710,181 in expenditures was reported during this period. The percentage after each entry shows each campaign’s share of that total. Incumbents are marked with an asterisk (*).

  1. Protect SA PAC (Anti-Prop A SPAC) - $1,814,227 (48.9%)
  2. Ronald Nirenberg* (Mayor) - $536,304 (14.5%)
  3. SA Justice Charter PAC (Pro-Prop A SPAC) - $221,252 (6%)
  4. San Antonio Safe PAC (Anti-Prop A SPAC) - $141,359 (3.8%)
  5. Marc Whyte (District 10) - $110,598 (3%)
  6. Christopher Schuchardt (Mayor) - $96,217 (2.6%)
  7. Mario Bravo* (District 1) - $93,018 (2.5%)
  8. John Courage* (District 9) - $76,338 (2.1%)
  9. Manny Pelaez* (District 8) - $67,894 (1.8%)
  10. Marina Gavito (District 7) -$63,403 (1.7%)
  11. Melissa Cabello Havrda* (District 6) - $57,793 (1.6%)
  12. Sukh Kaur (District 1) - $54,604 (1.5%)
  13. Jalen McKee-Rodriguez* (District 2) - $54,352 (1.5%)
  14. Jeremy Roberts (District 1) - $39,035 (1.1%)
  15. Adriana Garcia* (District 4) - $34,553 (0.9%)
  16. Phyllis Viagran* (District 3) - $32,025 (0.9%)
  17. Jarrett Lipman (District 9) - $31,767 (0.9%)
  18. Daniel Rossiter (District 7) - $20,954 (0.6%)
  19. Teri Castillo* (District 5) - $20,894 (0.6%)
  20. San Antonio Equity Alliance (SPAC supporting Marc Whyte’s D10 race. Has also supported Marina Gavito’s D7 race.) - $20,086 (0.5%)
  21. Denise Gutierrez (District 2) - $17,501 (0.5%)
  22. Rudy Lopez (District 5)- $12,458 - (0.3%)
  23. Rose Requenez Hill (District 2) - $11,720 (0.3%)

There is a contribution freeze period from midnight on May 2 through election day on May 6. Any contributions during this time must be be held until after the election and reported in the next contribution cycle.

NOTE: This story has been updated to show San Antonio Equity Alliance’s split spending between Marc Whyte and Marina Gavito’s campaigns.


About the Authors:

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.