School Board candidates John Doyle and Robin Sadler have raised almost as much campaign cash as the remaining 14 candidates combined.
Doyle, the race's only incumbent, has raised $14,151, primarily through two fund-raisers that attracted many School Board employees and political associates.
Mrs. Sadler has raised $13,288, much of it in relatively large contributions from well-known business executives.
Most other candidates have raised between $1,000 and $2,000, according to required filings with the Board of Elections. The only other candidates who had raised significantly more by Monday's filing deadline were Patrick Wesp, $7,841; James Williams $4,586; and Helene Kramer, $3,070.
Only one candidate, Gilbert Hernandez, has failed to disclose his finances to the Board of Education, as required by law. Ironically, he has made the school system's fiscal accountability one of his major campaign issues.
"I didn't get around to it," he said.
Hernandez estimated he has raised about $800 and loaned his campaign another $350 to $400.
Six candidates have loaned money to their campaigns. Wesp has loaned the most, $1,950.
Most candidates are relying on contributions of less than $100. Doyle and Mrs. Sadler have garnered most of the larger contributors.
Doyle's most recognizable contributor is former Mayor James D. Griffin, whose campaign organization, "Friends of Jim Griffin," donated $100. RJD Security, owned by Deputy Police Commissioner Rocco Diina, also contributed $100. Diina has stepped away from the day-to-day running of the company while he is in the Police Department.
Doyle has accepted a half-dozen $100 and $200 contributions from unions and contractors that do business with the School Board. Candidates were collectively asked at a forum at the YWCA last week if they had accepted contributions from unions and other parties doing business with the School Board. Doyle was not among those who raised hands.
Mrs. Sadler has obtained 48 contributions of $100 or more. Six gave $500, including M&T Bank Chairman Robert Wilmers; investor and M&T board member Brent Baird; business executive Frank McGuire; Ronald Zoeller, Mrs. Sadler's boss at North American Administrators; and companies owned by contractor Frank Ciminelli and industrialist Richard Garman.
Wilmers, McGuire, Zoeller and Garman worked with Mrs. Sadler on the Buffalo Financial Plan Commission.
Those contributing $250 to Mrs. Sadler's campaign include Computer Task Group Inc. Chairman David Campbell, business executive Anthony Gioia and banker and former Common Council Member David Rutecki.
Those making $100 contributions include Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Chairman Robert Gioia and Terrence Conners, a close friend and adviser of Mayor Masiello.
Wesp was the only other candidate to receive a $500 contribution. It came from his mother, Margaret Hammersley, a reporter for The Buffalo News.
A handful of elected officials contributed to campaigns.
County Executive Gorski's organization gave $25 to Sheila Nickson.
Common Council Member David Franczyk gave $200 to James Konicki.
County Legislator Gregory Olma gave $50 to Konicki.
Common Council Member Dale Zuchlewski gave $100 to Melody Simon.
None of the candidates listed contributions from the Buffalo Teachers Federation.
Melody Simon reported a $100 contribution from the Buffalo Educational Support team, which represents teacher's aides.