County election was a pricey affair
GLENWOOD SPRINGS The four candidates in this year’s two Garfield County commissioner races spent $119,266 on their campaigns, state records show. That is $7,844 more than what six candidates spent on two Weld County commissioner races, even though the Front Range county has nearly 185,000 more people living there, according to U.S. Census figures from 2006.The large sum of cash the Garfield County commissioner candidates raised and spent this year is in addition to the more than $50,000 or more that several outside groups of the county spent to influence county voters in this year’s county commissioner races. However, that figure is largely an estimate because several groups that campaigned without the knowledge of the candidates have not filed campaign finance reports with the state. Many observers, including current county commissioners, said the infusion of money from outside groups was largely because Garfield County is a battleground over the future of oil and gas development in the state.All told, the four Garfield County commissioner candidates raised a cumulative $126,208 in contributions since late last year, state campaign finance reports show. Collectively, the candidates had just $6,942 in their campaign coffers as of Dec. 4.The latest campaign finance reports show that Republican Mike Samson raised the most amount of cash out of all the Garfield County commissioner candidates and by a substantial margin, too.Samson, who defeated Democrat Steve Carter, raised about $46,500 for his campaign. He had just $926.12 left in his campaign account as of Dec. 4.Contributors to Carters campaign gave the former county judge about $32,000 for his war chest. As of Dec. 4, he had $1,943 left in it, state records show. Democrat Stephen Bershenyi, who lost to Republican John Martin, was second the money list, pulling about $33,802 from contributors. He had $4,073 in his campaign coffers as of early December.Martin, who was elected to a fourth-term, raised significantly less, pulling in just $13,900 from contributors. He had no money left in his account as of Dec. 4.Money left over in any candidates account can be contributed to a political party, donated to another committee for a different public office, donated to a charitable organization or returned to contributors.A person elected to public office may use unspent campaign contributions in a candidate committee for voter registration efforts, political issue education, post-secondary educational scholarships or defray reasonable and necessary expenses related to mailings and similar communications to constituents.In no event shall contributions to a candidate committee be used for personal purposes not reasonably related to supporting the election of the candidate, state law reads.Contact Phillip Yates: firstname.lastname@example.orgPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
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