From left to right, Chattanooga mayoral candidates Kim White, Tim Kelly and Wade Hinton are seen in this combined photo. / Contributed photos

Note: This story was altered to correct the spelling of Judge Robert Philyaw's name.

The three best-funded Chattanooga mayoral candidates have raised more than $800,000 to date, with about a month until the March 2 election.

This week, all municipal candidates were required to report their earnings and expenditures from the most recent period — ending Jan. 15 — to the Hamilton County Election Commission.

Of the 15 mayoral candidates, former River City Co. President Kim White, former city attorney Wade Hinton and businessman Tim Kelly reported the highest fundraising, in that order.

Other candidates did not meet the reporting deadline or took in less than $25,000.

Contributions reported by Hinton, Kelly and White range from donations under $10 to contributions of the maximum $1,600. Below are notable contributors and highest expenditures reported by each of the top three candidates as of Jan. 15. The candidates are listed alphabetically.


Wade Hinton

Hinton has received $150,000 since establishing his campaign in October 2020.

Among Hinton's notable contributors were city leaders including Chattanooga Youth and Family Development Administrator Lurone Jennings ($500), Economic and Community Development Administrator Donna Williams ($750) and Deputy Chief of Staff Jermaine Freeman ($50).

"Each of our donors is an important part of this historic campaign to elect the first Black mayor of Chattanooga. We have had close to 600 contributors, giving donations starting at $5," spokesman Spencer Bowers said by email Friday. "These citizens come from all over the community, and they want a hard-working, progressive mayor. They know that Wade is the best choice to make Chattanooga a thriving, more equitable and inclusive city."

Hinton's top expenditures were $10,000 to Adbeat Digital LLC, a consulting firm; $6,000 to Al Douglas, a consultant; $5,250 to campaign manager Christopher Smith; $5,250 to The Campaign Engineers for consulting; and $5,000 to operations manager Travis Lytle.

Hinton reported $86,000 left on hand.


Tim Kelly

Kelly has received $141,000 since establishing his campaign in February 2020.

Among Kelly's notable contributors were several county leaders including Hamilton County Board of Education Members Jenny Hill ($100) Marco Perez ($110), past school board member Kathy Lennon ($100) and Juvenile Court Judge Robert Philyaw ($250).

"Political insiders love to spend time talking about who got which donors and parsing finance reports. This isn't where my emphasis is. In the midst of a pandemic that threatens the health of our community and local economy, it's more important than ever to be listening to Chattanoogans and building a plan for the future instead of dialing for dollars," Kelly said in an emailed statement Friday. "In the final days of the campaign, I will continue to focus on the issues that matter most to Chattanoogans, from early childhood education to expanding opportunities to improving roads and infrastructure, these are the issues that matter most and this is where our focus will remain."

Kelly's top expenditures were $68,000 to Workshop, a marketing and digital advertising company owned by Kelly; $49,000 to CounterPoint Messaging LLC, a media and consulting firm out of Murfreesboro; $43,000 to Vector, a local printing company; $29,000 to Change Research out of California; and $26,000 to Chief of Staff Brent Goldberg, who joined the campaign from Big Red Power Sports in November.

Kelly reported $622,000 left on hand.


Kim White

White has taken in $464,000 since establishing her campaign in August 2020.

Among White's notable contributors were current and former elected officials including Rep. Bo Watson, R-Hixson ($1,600), Rep. Robin Smith, R-Hixson ($1,600), former Mayor Jon Kinsey ($1,600) and the campaign for Sheriff Jim Hammond ($250).

"While every contribution is very much appreciated, I'm most moved by the widespread support reflected in our filing. Donations gifted to our campaign range from $6 to $1,600 and represent every ZIP code and walk of life in our city," White said by email Friday. "This extraordinary confidence in our campaign further ignites my commitment to represent all of Chattanooga as our next mayor."

White's top expenditures were $44,000 to Whiteboard, a local marketing agency; $35,000 to Waterhouse Public Relations, a local communications company; $12,000 to Heed Public Relations, a local communications company; $10,000 to Butler Consulting, a local consulting group; and $7,000 to Fast Signs, a signage company.

White reported $183,000 left on hand.

Contact Sarah Grace Taylor at or 423-757-6416. Follow her on Twitter @_sarahgtaylor.