Brandy Brooks, overall candidate for County Council, after a break of about two weeks in campaign activities after sexual harassment complaints were made by a former staffer, resumed appearances at candidate events and forums.
Although she recently lost the endorsements from two local organizations, Brooks said she wanted to continue with her campaign because of all the hard work she and her staff put in for over a year. But there’s another factor that could complicate his position: the county’s public campaign finance law.
According to county department of finance recordsBrooks has received $172,624 from the county’s public election fund as of April 30. The only overall candidate who raised more was incumbent Evan Glass, who received $231,097 in public funds during the same period.
The County Public Campaign Finance Act is available to all county executive and county council candidates. For applicants-at-large to be eligible for matching funds, they must not receive any donation over $250 and raise $20,000 from 250 donors.
County law states that a “participating candidate who withdraws from an election shall repay to the Director [of Finance] all Fund distributions received during the election cycle plus interest calculated from the date of the distribution(s). »
Brooks said the fact that she would have to repay public campaign finance isn’t the only reason she decided to stay in the running.
“It’s definitely one of many factors,” Brooks said. “We take our responsibility to the public election fund very seriously.”
She added that her commitment to issues such as affordable housing, environmental justice and creating a fair local economy is why she always runs for a universal seat.
“The most important factor is mission and vision, and what we’ve worked to pursue in this campaign,” Brooks said. “There are many, many people who have supported this work during this campaign, and we continue to honor and value the people who have done this work.”
Will Jawando, Glass board member and at-large, both seeking re-election this year,
both said they would be open to changing the Public Campaign Finance Act regarding the return of disbursed funds. Jawando said in an interview that county officials should consider updating the law regarding whether candidates should return public funds they received if they withdraw from racing.
Glass added that candidates must be transparent in how they use public funds.
“Applicants must maintain public trust if they use public funding,” Glass said in an interview.
The primary election is July 19. The general election is November 8.
Steve Bohnel can be reached at [email protected]