by Matt Saldaña
Alex Mitchell and Tyler Morris, majority partners in Southern Durham Development, the company seeking to develop the massive "751 Assemblage" project in the Jordan Lake watershed, contributed a combined $1,500 in November to Brenda Howerton's 2008 campaign for election to the Durham County Board of Commissioners, according to fourth-quarter reports released Monday: brenda_howerton_12jan2009
Howerton reported receiving both contributions the same week that commissioners voted, 3-2, to endorse a survey submitted by Neal Hunter--a minority shareholder in Southern Durham Development--that re-drew Jordan Lake's boundaries, effectively moving the 751 Assemblage out of the critical watershed and qualifying it for dense development. (Read Indy coverage on the issue here and here -- and listen here.) That meeting, held on Nov. 24, was the last held by the 2008 Board of Commissioners, before Howerton joined in January of this year.
Mitchell's check for $1,000, and Morris' for $500, bring Howerton's total contributions from Southern Durham Development partners to $3,000 ($1,500 total from Mitchell, $1,000 from Morris and $500 from Hunter). That equals one-fourth of all her contributions, which totaled $12,057 for the campaign.
In other campaign finance news, Mike Ashe tells the Indy that board chairman Michael Page reported no contributions in the fourth quarter, and re-committed himself to remaining within the $3,000 threshhold for any future campaigns. Shortly before the 2008 primary, Page rescinded his last threshold pledge and went on to raise $10,194. He was not responsible for reporting contributions before rescinding his pledge, which Ashe said will also be true for future campaigns. Currently, Page has $1,875 on hand, according to his fourth-quarter report, which the Durham County Board of Elections received on time, but has not yet published online.
Ellen Reckhow and Becky Heron reported no contributions in the fourth quarter, while Joe Bowser remained under the $3,000 threshhold.