County Commissioner Joe Bowser’s campaign fund is $8,000 richer thanks to a couple with a financial stake in the controversial 751 South development project.
Bowser, who lost a bid for mayor last month, reported the donations from Neal and Janet Hunter to the Durham County Board of Elections on Monday. Each gave $4,000 to the Bowser Campaign Committee. The couple did not donate money to any other candidates in Durham’s mayoral and City Council races.
Neal Hunter sold the 751 South site near Jordan Lake to Southern Durham Development Inc., financing $10 million of the $18 million price in return for a non-voting share in the company.
Bowser’s term on the Durham County Board of Commissioners expires in 2012. He has been a strong supporter of 751 South, which won a crucial rezoning by a 3-2 commissioners’ vote in 2010. That rezoning is the subject of a lawsuit scheduled for trial in November.
In Durham County, $4,000 is the maximum amount an individual may give to a local candidate’s campaign for any one election. Bowser was a candidate for Durham mayor, but was eliminated in the Oct. 11 primary. Both Hunters’ donations were dated Oct. 11.
While running for mayor, Bowser declared his intention to raise or spend less than $1,000 on the current election. After falling out of the mayor’s race, he withdrew that declaration, putting himself under a requirement to file periodic campaign finance reports.