Steamboat Springs It's a basic rule that when candidates have opponents, they're more likely to spend more money. So it follows that this year, with two contested county commissioner races, more funds are being donated and spent than in a typical election year, Routt County Clerk Kay Weinland said.
The leader for raising funds is incumbent Democrat Doug Monger, who collected almost $8,000 between March and Sept. 4 for his District 2 re-election effort. He has spent $1,430 so far, mostly on advertisements.
District 2 challenger Jeff Fry, a Republican, has raised almost $3,000. Write-in candidate Cheriene Marchus has reported raising only $8. Marchus announced her candidacy just before the end of the most recent finance-reporting period.
In the District 1 race, incumbent Republican Nancy Stahoviak has raised $3,200 and has spent about $1,400. Stahoviak's challenger, Libertarian candidate Mike Kien, has reported no donations. Kien said from the start he had no intention of accepting campaign contributions.
Weinland said that it's hard to compare spending this year to that in previous years because there have not been local races for a while.
"Understandably, (candidates) are spending more than they have previously just because we have some local races this time," she said.
In the most recent finance-reporting period, which covered Aug. 2 to Sept. 4, Monger reported $720 in contributions. His largest contribution during this period was $250 from Evelyn Monger.
Fry reported $1,010 of contributions during the recent period, with the largest contribution coming from Hayden resident Lisa Ricks, who donated $500. After the reporting period ended, Fry reported a donation of $1,000 from the Routt County Republican Central Committee on Sept. 17. Candidates are required immediately to report major contributions.
Most of the money Fry has spent also has gone toward advertising.
On Sept. 2, Marchus announced her candidacy, just two days before the finance-reporting period ended. As of Sept. 4, she had received $8 from a non-monetary donation in the form of business cards announcing her candidacy. She reported no expenditures.
In the most recent reporting period, Stahoviak received $1,420 in contributions, bringing her total raised during the course of her campaign to $3,200. In this period, her largest donation came from Alfred Fisher of Michigan, who donated $500.
During this period she also reportedly spent $407, bringing her total spent to about $1,400, mostly toward advertising.
Kien, on the other hand, has reported no contributions throughout his campaign. He even submitted a letter withdrawing the Committee to Elect Mike Kien, saying that it was never his intention to accept campaign contributions and he had not done so, but had only spent a small amount of personal funds.