Johnson leads mayoral field in fundraising

Published 8:30 am Friday, April 27, 2012

FRANKLIN—Vice Mayor Raystine Johnson has raised and spent more money than her opponents in her attempt to become Franklin’s next mayor, according to campaign-finance reports.

As of April 20, Johnson, 53, had received $6,288 in contributions since Jan. 1 and had spent $5,462.

City Councilman Greg McLemore, 53, had raised $4,203 for the May 1 election and spent $2,952 during the same period, according to reports.

Incumbent Jim Councill, 67, had raised $4,048 and spent $4,618 in his bid for a ninth term.

Johnson, manager of Wm. Johnson and Sons Funeral Home, reported contributions of $1,000 from Carter Hotchkiss, $500 each from Clarence Baker and William Rose, and $300 from S.W. Rawls Jr.

Johnson spent $2,486 on newspaper and radio advertising, $1,718 on signs and fliers, and $1,000 to set up a website.

McLemore received $3,000 from R&J Motel Management of Chesapeake. The company is interested in bringing to Franklin a resort similar to Williamsburg’s Great Wolf Lodge if McLemore’s Virginia Solar City Initiative comes to fruition.

McLemore, a maintenance worker at Paul D. Camp Community College, also received $300 from Lawyer Artis Jr. McLemore spent $1,140 on campaign signs and frames.

The International Paper political action committee contributed $500 to Councill’s campaign. He also received $250 from Comfort Inn.

Reports show that Councill, owner of Councill Financial Services, spent $2,450 on newspaper advertising and $700 for website design.

Franklin’s mayor receives a salary of $10,437 a year.