Mayor Dwight C. Jones is running for re-election unopposed, but that hasn't stopped him from collecting campaign donations — from outside Virginia.
Jones' campaign has collected $27,650 in cash contributions this year as of June 1. Sixty-two percent, or $17,150, comes from out-of-state donors, according to his campaign finance reports, which are searchable on the Virginia Public Access Project's website, vpap.org. More than half of that out-of-state money — $9,650 — comes from donors in and around Atlanta.
Why do Atlanta donors love Dwight Jones? A few have financial connections with city government. Rohadfox Construction Control Services Corp., which gave Jones $2,300, has provided construction management services for the city's $117 million combined sewer overflow upgrades. Steven Lavinder, who gave Jones $250, is a senior project engineer with the Atlanta office of massive engineering firm CH2M Hill. That company has had two large contracts with the city: both in 2009, for a total of $2 million, for wastewater and water-utility engineering services. Core LLC, which gave Jones $300 for his campaign, got a $250,000 contract with the city in 2006.
A $500 donor, Dexter C. White, is Richmond's former director of public works. He's now deputy director of public works for the city of Atlanta.
Jones' biggest donors, each kicking in $2,500, are Cambridge, Mass.-based engineering and construction firm CDM Smith, Richmond law firm Hunton and Williams, and Southwood Apartments LLC, which is based in Charlottesville but owns an apartment complex in South Richmond. Virginia places no limits on political contributions.
Jones hasn't bought any signs, buttons or pizza for campaign workers. His only expenditures this year are $1,750 to the Democratic Party of Virginia and $500 each to the city's Democratic Party and to the campaign of the Rev. Tyrone Nelson, a Henrico County supervisor.
As of June 1, Jones reported having $105,620 cash on hand.