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Brazos County candidates turn in first financial reports
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Brazos County candidates turn in first financial reports

Bryan City Council hopeful Gutierrez's near $66,000 tops all other council campaigns combined

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With $65,845 in political contributions received during the first reporting period, Bryan City Council candidate Bobby Gutierrez brought in almost $10,000 more than the other dozen Bryan and College Station city council candidates combined. 

The reporting period ended Oct. 5, when all candidates were required to turn in their paperwork.

The local business owner is running against Jonna Schreiber for the single-member District 3 seat. The large majority — $55,225 — of the contributions Gutierrez reported were monetary, while others were non-monetary gifts including auction items, social media setup and meals. The auction items and food went toward a September fundraiser. 

Gutierrez received donations from politicians including Bryan Mayor Andrew Nelson, Republican District 14 Texas State Rep. John Raney and Bryan councilman Greg Owens, who currently holds the District 3 seat Gutierrez is seeking. 

Gutierrez said it’s been overwhelming to receive more than $65,000 worth of contributions. While he has told people that they can stop giving, he said more is still coming in, which he said touches his heart. He said he’s grateful for the community support.

“I was almost in tears,” Gutierrez said. “I was telling people not to give me any money. ... There’s no telling how many millions of dollars I’ve raised for different organizations, different political action deals, for different charities. These are all the people that came back and paid back, I guess. And I’m just truly humbled for it.”

Schreiber filed a report that documented a $100 loan to herself and no expenditures. 

Additionally, Gutierrez was one of five candidates in Bryan and College Station to receive funding from Texas Realtors Political Action Committee, TREPAC. 

College Station City Council Place 1 and Place 3 candidates Jason Cornelius and Dell Seiter, respectively, received $5,000 from TREPAC. College Station Place 5 candidate Craig Regan’s only reported political contribution was $5,000 from TREPAC. Bryan City Council single-member District 4 candidate Flynn Adcock received $2,500 from TREPAC. Gutierrez received the least of the candidates with $1,500. 

Among other contributors to Gutierrez’s campaign are several local business owners, including Randy French, president and founder of Stylecraft Builders; Copy Corner owner Larry Hodges;

C.C. Creations owners Kenny and Lina Lawson; and Schultz Engineering founders Julie and Joe Schultz.

He also received $2,700 from Partners for a Better Bryan, a political action committee he helped form a decade ago and that he is treasurer over. He said the PAC advocates for issues and candidates alike. The organization, he explained, gives people who want to donate to different campaigns but don’t want their name associated with it a chance to contribute. 

Adcock reported a contribution of $500 from Partners for a Better Bryan. 

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In his campaign finance report, Gutierrez said he had just over $27,000 worth of political expenditures that went toward things such as catering, campaign consulting, contributions to other campaigns and advertising costs. He also loaned himself $5,000

When asked this week how he plans to spend the rest of the funds, Gutierrez said he is “pretty much set” but may have to spend more down the road. Otherwise, he said the money may go toward a future campaign, other people’s campaigns or charity. 

Cornelius saw the second highest amount in donations with more than $12,000, followed by  College Station Place 5 incumbent John Nichols with about $11,000 and Seiter with more than $10,000. 

Julie Schultz, former College Station councilman Jerome Rektorik and French were among Cornelius’ supporters. Much of his funding went toward marketing consulting from Twinz Co. He also loaned himself $3,000. 

His opponent, incumbent Bob Brick, reported a total of $2,451 in political contributions from people including Stephen Beachy, who is the former director of College Station Parks and Recreation, Texas A&M University employees and a local attorney. Expenses included money for signs, a web domain and smaller items such as gasoline for transportation. 

Nichols received donations from French, Beachy and Bryan attorney Larry Holt. The largest expense Nichols reported was $2,352 on signs from C.C. Creations. Other smaller costs included stamps and printing fees. 

Brain Alg, one of Nichols’ challengers, raised about $905 in contributions, most coming from three College Station residents. Yard signs were his largest expense. 

Expenditures in Regan’s report consist of Facebook ads, signs and photos.

Randy and Cheryl French also put money toward Seiter’s campaign, as did Julie Schultz. Seiter’s main expenses consist of a $4,000 payment to Twinz Co. Marketing, and more than $6,000 that went to C.C. Creations for things such as campaign signs. 

The $3,557 worth of contributions that Place 3 incumbent Linda Harvell received came from Beachy and Texas A&M professor Fred Dupriest, among others. Reported expenditures included a few hundred dollars for signs and posts for the signs.

Adcock received $8,219 worth of contributions, with donors including Owens and local real estate agent and former Bryan mayor Jason Bienski. Adcock spent money on office supplies, signs and postage. 

His opponent, Doris Machinski, received a non-monetary contribution in the form of a website build from Councilman Mike Southerland, who currently holds the seat she and Adcock are competing for. Her expenses consisted of printing for magnets and sign costs. She loaned herself $435. 

Keeping with a principle she has held throughout her campaign, which started in December, College Station Place 4 candidate Elizabeth Cunha did not accept any contributions. Now more than ever, she said in a recent interview, funds should be going toward charities and other organizations rather than her campaign. Cunha has spent about $700 during this reporting period on items including a website, signs and legal consultation. 

Her opponent, Joe Guerra Jr., received $1,256 in contributions, about $100 of which he gave himself. Other monetary donations were from Dupriest, College Station ISD Assistant Director of Facilities Rene Ramirez and A&M professors Suzanne and Robert Droleskey.  

Visit bryantx.gov/campaign-finance-reports or cstx.gov/elections for all candidate finance reports.

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