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Madison School Board candidates

Candidates for Madison School board, clockwise from upper left: Cristiana Carusi and Kaleem Caire for Seat 3; David Blaska and Ali Muldrow for Seat 4; and TJ Mertz and Ananda Mirilli for Seat 5.

The three Madison School Board candidates who won their respective primaries led in fundraising over the last reporting cycles before next week’s election, according to new campaign finance reports.

Spending levels over the latest reporting period, which ran from Feb. 5 through March 18, varied among the contests.

Seat 3

Cristiana Carusi, an associate communications director at the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, raised $12,095 in the most recent six-week reporting period versus opponent Kaleem Caire, founder and CEO of independent Madison charter One City School, who brought in $10,175 over the period.

Caire, though, ended the period with $20,213 in available cash — the most of all candidates and more than double that of Carusi.

He also leads all six candidates in total fundraising for the year at $28,223, assisted in part by $4,500 from American Girl founder and philanthropist Pleasant Rowland and $1,000 from Exact Sciences Corp. CEO Kevin Conroy. Carusi has received $4,500 from Madison Teachers Inc.

Carusi used $8,290 over the period, outspending Caire by about $1,500 during that time.

Seat 4

Ali Muldrow took in $14,144 this reporting cycle — with more than $5,500 coming from other fundraising committees — versus the $6,605 raised by David Blaska, a former Dane County Board supervisor and conservative blogger. Muldrow received $4,500 from MTI.

Muldrow, co-executive director of GSAFE, ended the reporting period with $14,241 in cash available. Blaska had a cash balance of $2,635.

Both spent about $8,300 during the time frame.

Seat 5

Ananda Mirilli, an equity consultant for the state Department of Public Instruction, by a wide margin pulled in more money and spent more of it than incumbent TJ Mertz.

She reported raising $13,017 over the period, had a $11,255 cash balance at the end, and spent $9,223 during the time frame.

Mertz reported raising $3,445 over the period, had a $4,336 cash balance at the end, and spent $1,316. Both received $900 donations from MTI.

Voters will go to the polls Tuesday to decide who will sit on the School Board for three-year terms.

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