February 24, 2022

Springfield school board candidates raise $81K+ with five weeks to go for April 5 election - News-Leader

Springfield school board candidate Steve Makoski took an early lead in fundraising for the April 5 election but is now trailing Kelly Byrne.

In all, the five candidates vying for two open spots on the board have raised a total of $81,141 in monetary and in-kind donations, according to campaign reports filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

The latest reports were due Thursday, 40 days before the election, and showed Byrne has raised $34,705, or just $3,002 more than the $31,703 raised by Makoski.

Together, Byrne and Makoski — who have many donors in common — raised nearly 82 percent of all the reported funds, so far, in the race.

The amounts raised by the other candidates include $3,237 by Chad Courtney, $3,300 by Charles Taylor; and $8,599 by Brandi VanAntwerp.

More:Springfield school board candidates on what the district gets right, where it falls short

Kelly Byrne

The treasurer for the Kelly Byrne for School Board committee is Tyler Creach, who gave $500 to the campaign.

The $34,705 raised includes $9,500 worth of in-kind donations including $1,000 from Todd Wilson, COO of Rapid Roberts; $1,500 from the campaign itself; $2,000 from Landon McCarter, co-founder of Secure Agent Marketing; $2,000 from Curtis Jared, a commercial real estate developer; and $3,000 from Michael Esquibel, for graphic design.

Byrne, a real estate investor and developer, received his largest monetary donation from Chuck Kohout (of Ozark), who gave $2,500. Thomas Fowler, who started the State Bank of Southwest Missouri, donated $1,000 and so did his wife, Linda Fowler.

Byrne received $1,000 each from Loren Cook and Casey Mericle.

Former SPS board member Bruce Chisope donated $100. Carl Herd, retired teacher and former SPS board candidate, gave $100.

Swayne Loftis ran for the board in 2015. A year earlier, he sued the district in an attempt to get on the ballot after failing to get enough signatures. He donated $1,000.

Byrne received $500 from professional NBA player Anthony Tolliver, a business partner and former Kickapoo High basketball teammate.

He received $750 from State Rep. Craig Fishel, a Springfield Republican on the House education committee. He also received $200 from former Republican State Rep. Roy Holand.

Marcus Aton, who ran for Springfield mayor in 2021, gave $120. Nelson Knapp, listed as the treasurer for the conservative Back On Track America group, gave $100.

Other donors include: $750 from Sherry Byrne; and $500 each from James Corlew Mike Reynolds (of...

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