With a week to go before the January 31 deadline to qualify for thousands of dollars in public campaign financing, city council and mayoral candidates are scrambling for their final $5 contributions.

Only one candidate, Amanda Fritz—who's running for the seat Sam Adams is vacating to run for mayor—has been certified as a publicly financed candidate. Two of her challengers have also turned in over 1,000 $5 contributions and signatures, which are subject to verification by the auditor's office. John Branam turned in 1,001 on January 18, but plans to collect more to be sure that 1,000 pass muster.

On Tuesday morning, January 22, Charles Lewis—the first person to start collecting contributions, starting last July—handed in 1,137. His campaign manager is confident they'll be the second to qualify.

In the same race, candidates Jeff Bissonnette and Chris Smith say they're at about 800 and "just over 1,000," respectively.

In the new open seat created when Erik Sten announced his resignation, one candidate is blasting his competition when it comes to qualifying for public financing. Sten's chief of staff, Jim Middaugh, turned in 781 contributions on January 22—just eight days after he started collecting them.

And in the mayor's race, Sho Dozono reportedly passed the 1,500 mark after a Saturday morning, January 19, campaign event (see story, above), but had not turned any into the auditor's office for verification, at press time.