The 2024 Ferguson Voters’ Guide to Campaign Finances and Ethics

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This past week, the 8 Days Before Election report was due for candidates in the upcoming Council election. This report, along with previous filings, provides great insight into each candidate and how they approach fiscal and ethical responsibility. Typically, incumbents have an edge over newcomers in terms of having a base of support to help with contributions, as well as having supplies, such as yard signs, already paid for and on hand. While details, such as whether monetary contributors were Ferguson residents or not, may be of interest, how each candidate manages their money can be indicative of how they will take on the fiscal and budgeting responsibilities that are part of council work.

Also of concern is each candidate’s ability to follow state law and meeting filing deadlines. This year, one candidate, Blake Ashby, has demonstrated multiple violations of campaign finance law. The process for the Missouri Ethics Commission to review and act on complaints can take months or even years. In most cases, a complaint must be filed by a third party for any review to begin.

In addition to Campaign finance reports, the overview here includes the Candidate’s Nomination Petition, which was filed in December and checked to have met the minimum of 50 valid signatures of registered voters, and the Personal Financial Disclosure (PFD). Each voter reviewing these items will likely have different subjective opinions concerning what does or does not have relevance to their decision of which candidate they support. Regardless, understanding the campaign finance process can be useful to voters.

This year has a notable increase in spending, as well as the amount of debt some candidates have decided to take on. The charts found here summarize the figures for total expenditures and the net amount on hand as of 3/21/24, the end of the period the last report filed covered. These figures are not the final figures for this election cycle. Candidates can continue to receive more contributions, spend more money, and choose to make loans to their campaigns or use credit cards for expenses.

More information on each candidates filings and the links to those documents can be found on the following links to pages for each ward:

Ward 1: Phedra Nelson and David Williams

Ward 2: Blake Ashby, Erica M. Brooks, Jamil Franklin, and Nick Kasoff

Ward 3: LaMika “Mika” Covington and Naquittia Noah

And in case you missed it, check out the Q&A with the Council Candidates.