Another two weeks, another batch of fundraising reports from city council candidates.
There’s something cruel and remorseless about these coldly competitive filings. If you can’t raise enough money to run an adequate campaign, it means you most likely have no chance. And if people aren’t willing to dip in their pockets and help fund your campaign, it means that you have little support from those who know you best.
So let’s pull the reports and see what we can learn.
In District 1, Joe Barrera raised $1,035, all from small donors including Lynn Petersen, former state Representative Daphne Greenwood, Mike Berniger, and Tom Cronin. A nice group of supporters, but the total is disappointing. Don Knight raised $1,950, almost all from a $1,500 contribution from G.E. Johnson CEO Jim Johnson. Not that impressive, but Knight’s campaign will benefit from independent expenditures opposing incumbent Tim Leigh (see previous post). And the ever-disingenuous Leigh (“I’m not fundraising – I just cash the checks.”) added $13,300 to his campaign coffers, more than half from large donors such as Gary Loo ($!,000), Rich Graham ($2,000), MDC Holdings ($2,500), and the Housing and Building Association’s PAC ($2,500). Leigh got a late start, but leads all of his D-1 rivals combined.
Neither Linda Mojer nor Julie Naye filed any reports of contributions and expenditures.
In D-2, Joel Miller raised $675, Bill Murray raised nothing, and Angela Dougan brought in $7,150. Contributors included MDC ($2,500), Broadmoor CEO Steve Bartolin ($200), and Gary Loo ($1,000). Dougan ended the month with almost $13,000 in the bank – serious money for a council race!
In D-3, Brandy Williams took in $4,860 from a variety of donors, including Chuck Murphy ($1,000), William Mead ($500) and John Crandall. Tom Gallagher collected $300, Jim Bensberg raised $1,400, and Bob Kinsey reported no contributions.
Keith King had a nice couple of weeks, to put it mildly. He raised $26,000, including $2,500 from MDC, $2,500 from the HBA PAC, $1,000 each from three auto dealers (Faricy Boys, Bob Penkhus, Heuberger) and $500 from two others (Perkins and Porsche). The Broadmoor kicked in $3,120 as an in-kind contribution for hosting a fundraiser, and 37 small donors wrote checks for between $20 and $250. King has raised a total of $56,0830 since entering the race (including $10,479 transferred from his last state Senate campaign), and had $38,210 in the bank at the end of the month. Even if he can’t raise another nickel, he still has an overwhelming financial advantage over his opponents.
Will that kind of money guarantee victory? It sure won’t hurt. To compete effectively, his opponents will have to marshal scores of volunteers, walk precincts every day, and take advantage of free media as much as possible. It would help if King would just sit back easy and let mailers and TV ads do the work, but he’s a tireless campaigner, not just a fundraising machine.
In D-4, Helen Collins raised $2,153, almost all from a $2,000 contribution from Mark Bogosian. Gary Flakes reported no contributions, while Dennis Moore took in $1,080. In a clearly erroneous or incomplete filing that appeared on the Clerk’s website this morning, Deborah Hendrix reported $8,220 in contributions. MDC threw in $2,500, the HBA contributed $2,500, Elite Properties gave $1,500, and Steve Durham wrote a check for $200.
In D-5, Al Loma reported a single contribution 0f $2,500 from Richmond American Homes. Jill Gaebler raised $805, while Bernie Herpin added $4080 to his campaign coffers. Herpin supporters included Rand and Elizabeth Enas ($1,000), Classic Communities, and 21 small contributors. Like Keith King, Herpin obviously benefits from decades of community involvement and scores of well-wishers. Roger McCarville raised no funds.
Finally, in D-6 Ed Bircham raised no money, while Andres Pico raised $1,400 from individual contributors. David Moore brought in $5,621.80, all but $25 generated by endorsements from the HBA and the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors. Donors included Richmond American ($2,500), Elite Properties ($1,500), and the PPAR PAC ($1,000).
Can we draw any conclusions from fundraising results so far? At the margins, yes. Aggregating fundraising reports since the campaigns began, King, Herpin, Dougan, Leigh, Bensberg, Williams, and Gaebler have been effective fundraisers, with or without endorsements from the big boys. Candidates who have yet to raise more than a few hundred dollars are unlikely to make a serious splash, while candidates who depend on support generated by the HBA/PPAR/developer axis had better hope for weak opposition, lest they get ambushed by energetic newbies.
In the middle are candidates such as Don Knight, Joel Miller, Bill Murray, Helen Collins, Ed Bircham, and Andres Pico. All can wholly or partially self-fund their campaigns, and all have a chance to surprise their establishment-backed opponents. The races are just gathering steam, and any one of them might catch fire. We’re in unexplored territory here, as relative unknowns face off against each other.