Main menu


Inside look into campaign finance filings for mayoral race

featured image

LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) – With early voting underway and election day nearing, it seems everything seen on tv, and social media is some kind of message from a candidate or from their opponent.

However, those messages can cost a pretty penny which is why they rely on fundraising, but some say that’s where the problems begin.

KGNS looked into the finance reports filed by local candidates running for the office of Laredo’s mayor.

Of ten candidates vying to be Laredo’s next mayor Alfonso ‘Poncho’ Casso, Kobby Bryand and Felipe ‘Fliper’ Ramirez did not file reports.

Three other candidates Louis Bruni, Gustavo V. ‘Gunny’ Gonzalez and Juan M. Garza filed reports but reported zero contributions.

So, of the four candidates remaining who did report contributions KGNS listed the candidates who received the least to most.

Coming in the least number of contributions with $15,915 is Dr. Victor D. Trevino, his contributions include three $5,000, one coming from custom broker Eduardo Garza.

Dr. Trevino also received a loan from himself and his wife for $50,000-each.

Next is Cynthia Mares who reported $18,347 dollars contributed of which about $10,000 fell below the legal requirements of itemizing on the report.

While those that were itemized, the highest amount came from a retired individual for $1,437, while two contributions of at $1,000 each came from business owners.

Mares also reported two loans from herself for a total of $55,000.

Candidate castling vela reported $37,284 in contributions, of that he contributed $6,500 to himself with the remaining amount not itemized in the report, falling below the legal requirements of reporting.

Finally, candidate Mercurio Martinez III is reporting the highest number of contributions at almost $135,000 of that $90,000 came from 18 contributors who gave $5,000 each to be named as hosts of a fundraising reception held for him.

The majority of those working in the real state, development, and business industry, including Glenn Hart, Shahram Khaledi and Killam development.

The remaining $44,000 coming through in amounts ranging from a few hundred dollars to $2,500 also from those working in development as well as the banking, transportation and legal industries.

With so much money being contributed by those working in specific industries, KGNS reached out to Martinez to ask, if elected, how would he manage his support and votes on issues pertaining to those industries that financially backed him in an unbiased way?

In a statement that reads in part:

“Most of my contributors are friends and colleagues i have known for years that care about the future of Laredo. i will always be accountable to my constituents.”

In looking at the last two mayor races in 2014 and 2018, current mayor Pete Saenz, who won each of those also filed campaign finance reports noting more money in his campaign account than his opponents.

However, the majority of his money came from personal loans, not from contributors.

For more headlines. click here.