Edmonds outspending Arensman in Ward 1 race | PostIndependent.com

Edmonds outspending Arensman in Ward 1 race

Heather McGregor
Post Independent Editor
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Ward 1 challenger Ted Edmonds has outspent his opponent, incumbent Councilman Russ Arensman, by nearly four to one in his bid for a seat on the Glenwood Springs City Council.

As of the March 12 filing deadline, Edmonds has collected $1,630 in campaign donations and spent $1,353. Arensman has spent $347 using his own money.

The three unopposed candidates in the April 5 election, incumbent Dave Sturges and council newcomers Mike Gamba and Todd Leahy, reported collecting and spending no campaign money.

For the Jan. 1 to March 12 reporting period, Edmonds received six contributions totalling $819 from others and spent $811 of his own money.

Edmonds received a $250 contribution from John and Theresa Traul; a $200 contribution from Ken and Martha Robinson, Carbondale residents who own Roaring Fork Liquors; $100 donations each from Karen Price, Floyd and LaVonne Diemoz, and John and Marianne Virgili; a $50 donation from Barry Cox; and a $19 cash contribution.

The Virgili donation was made through John Virgili’s accounting business. Marianne Virgili is the president and CEO of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, which has figured in some campaign debates regarding the chamber’s tourism marketing contract.

Edmonds spent $1,353 for printing at Gran Farnum Printing Co. in Glenwood Springs, and to purchase yard signs from a company in Indiana, obtain a fast-track tax identification number using a service in Kansas City, place ads on Facebook, and pay the chamber for color copies of his campaign brochure.

“I needed a fairly small number of brochures, and the prices from the commercial printers for a four-color, 8.5-by-11 folded brochure was about $1 apiece. I talked to the chamber, and they said they could do it for about 20 cents apiece,” Edmonds said.

He placed the Facebook ad and is paying about $1 each for click-throughs to his “Ted Edmonds for City Council” Facebook page.

“So far, the number of impressions, the people who see the ad, is huge. But the number who actually clicked on the ad to go to my Facebook page is about 400,” Edmonds said.

“I’m trying to get in step with the new methods of communication. It’s been effective. I’ve had a lot of people visit my Facebook page and ‘like’ it,” he added.

Arensman, on the other hand, said he has “tried to take a low-key approach,” spending little money and putting his time into door-to-door campaigning in Ward 1.

He spent $347 to register a website domain name, pay for color copies of a flyer at Copy Copy, and purchase yard signs from a Florida company.

“I have been turning campaign contributions away. I am not comfortable with running an expensive advertising-heavy campaign. It doesn’t seem warranted for a small town election,” he said.

He said by financing his own campaign, “there’s no question about anyone influencing you or that you could be representing special interests.”

Candidates have two more deadlines to report campaign contributions and spending, on April 1 and May 5, according to Glenwood Springs City Clerk Robin Unsworth.

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