Candidates turn in first fund reports

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Candidates for the Steamboat Springs City Council and the Steamboat Springs School Board this week turned in their first reports of campaign donations they have received and spent.

The reports are similar to those from past years and show that for the most part, candidates in uncontested races haven't collected or spent money, while those trying to beat out competitors have collected and spent several hundred to one or two thousand dollars, City Clerk Julie Jordan said.

School Board elections, whether they are contested, typically do not involve much campaign funding.

Candidates in the District I seat for City Council incumbent Bud Romberg and Susan Dellinger have a fivefold difference in campaign contributions.

Romberg reports having received $1,300 and spending more than $1,000 on items such as promotional pencils, yard signs, brochures and advertisements.

Dellinger, on the other hand, has raised $275, most of which came from a contribution from herself, and has spent about $55 on advertisements.

Ken Brenner and Kathi Meyer, candidates in the District II seat, have spent more than $1,000.

Brenner has received about $2,000 in contributions, more than half of which he has spent on advertisements, fliers and signs. His largest contribution of about $900 came from himself.

Meyer started the campaign with about $1,750, raised from her campaign in the 2001 election, and has added another $1,480 this term. She has spent just more than $2,000, mostly on advertising.

Before District II candidate Marcus Williams announced he was dropping out of the race Wednesday, he had spent more than $1,000 of his own money on advertisements, campaign buttons and beverages.

Because Steamboat Springs is a home rule city, it has the option of making limits to campaign contributions and spending. Since there has not been abuses of the system in the past, Jordan said there hasn't been the need to establish restrictions.

Through donations, candidates are able to get their names out to the public, Jordan said. She said she expects candidates to be advertising themselves more in the next few weeks.

"When there's a competitor, candidates are buying buttons, they're buying posters, they're buying advertisements in the paper, trying to get their name out there," Jordan said.

"I'd encourage people to read the advertisements, look at the Web sites ... call the candidates, attend the forums. Find out what these candidates represent and decide if they're a voice that they'd like to see sitting on their City Council."

Every School Board candidate but one did not report donations or expenditures. Jerry Kozatch, running in District 4, reported $280 in contributions, most of which he has spent on advertising.

Brian Kelly and Jeff Troeger, candidates for District 2, reported spending their own money. Kelly spent $301 on posters and Troeger spent about $50 on a Web site.

School Board candidates are less likely to collect donations and spend money campaigning because the races are nonpartisan, are for a volunteer position and typically don't have much competition, said Routt County Clerk Kay Weinland.

The next reporting periods are the Friday before Election Day and 30 days after the election.

-- To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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