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School board candidate Roshun Austin outraises, outspends her opponents

Roshun Austin
Roshun Austin

Roshun Austin has raised $23,000, nearly 10 times as much money as any other candidate in the upcoming Shelby County Schools board race, according to financial disclosure statements posted on the Shelby County Election Commission website over the weekend.

Austin, a candidate in district 9, received her largest contribution from the JOBS PAC, a political action committee created by the Memphis Chamber of Commerce that supports local candidates who it believes support job growth. The PAC donated $3,000 to her campaign. The next largest donors were Hilliard Crews, J.R. Hyde and Barbara Hyde all of who donated $1,500 each.

Austin said Monday night that she attributes her fundraising success to having worked a variety of different jobs in the community, where she met many supporters, including some real estate developers, who she worked with as an affordable housing advocate.

The money has largely gone to printing signs, with nearly $2,500 spent on signs, and over $2,000 spent on other kinds of advertising, but Austin still has more than $18,000 in the bank for the last month of the campaign.

The district 9 race has drawn the most funding and spending of all the school board races so far, with Austin’s opponents, Mike Kernell and Damon Cury Morris having raised $2,775 and $2,000 for Mike Kernell and Damon Curry Morris respectively.

As of Monday, the Shelby County Election Commission website still did not show 2nd quarter financial disclosure statements for candidates Freda Garner-Williams, Chris Caldwell, Teddy King, David Winston, Jimmy Warren, Shante Avant, Miska Bibbs or William Orgel. The documents were due on July 10. If the candidates do not submit their financial disclosures the matter could be sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance.

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