Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb is a prolific fundraiser. He proved it with his $1.6 million campaign for mayor, which outraised the campaign of his chief opponent, former Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley. As mayor, Bibb frequently solicits money off of his City Hall initiatives. In a solicitation sent in early January, his campaign asked for $5 contributions while promoting Bibb’s work to “decrease the city’s violent crime levels” and declaring he “revitalized the East Side–an often overlooked neighborhood.”
But Bibb is also a prolific spender. His campaign burned through $131,000 in the first six months of 2023, according to the latest campaign unaudited finance reports filed with Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.
The mayor spent a sizable chunk–nearly $80,000–on consulting and polling. Bibb, a former consultant himself, paid local political firm Burges & Burges $15,000. Assemble the Agency, a firm out of New York, received $33,400; RT Advisors in Columbus got $6,500. LJR Strategies in New Orleans provided polling for $25,000.
The mayor’s campaign account had an ending balance of $41,000.
Across the hall, Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin reported having a healthy sum in his campaign account. He showed an ending balance of $166,700, which includes around $72,000 in contributions during the first six months of the year.
The disparity between the two City Hall leaders is sure to fuel more speculation that they could face off in the next mayor’s election.