Hassig brings in most money among Carbondale candidates
CARBONDALE – Five of the six candidates in last Tuesday’s Town Council election collected more than $6,800 in combined campaign contributions, according to finance disclosure reports filed with the Carbondale Town Clerk’s Office late last week. But Russ Criswell, who lost the mayor race but retained his trustee seat, continues to buck the political norm by rejecting contributions from supporters and funding his own campaign.In his second of two required pre-election finance reports filed March 31, Criswell listed no outside contributions. To date, he reported spending $1,043.87 out of pocket in his campaign to unseat Mayor Michael Hassig, who easily won re-election.”It just seems right. I do ask people for help (with the campaign), just not money,” Criswell said, leaving it at that. He also self-funded his 2000 and 2004 campaigns for trustee.Hassig led the way in contributions among all Carbondale candidates, taking in a total of $2,031 during the pre-election reporting period. None of Hassig’s bills had come due prior to the March 31 filing deadline, so no expenditures were reported, according to his campaign committee treasurer, Mark Mahoney.Among Hassig’s top contributors were former town attorney Bob Emerson, Mike Cerise/Larry Stangeland, and H.P. and Gwen Hansen, who each chipped in $200.In the four-way race for three Carbondale trustee seats, incumbents Stacey Patch Bernot, John Foulkrod and challenger Barry Maggert, who joined forces to run as an unofficial slate, also benefited from several common contributors.Among them are former town planner Mark Chain and ex-trustee Brad Hendricks, who gave $50 to each of the three trustee candidates who are considered most favorable to big-box development in the town.Local real estate broker Mark Wyman was also a big contributor in the election, giving $250 each to Hassig, Bernot and Foulkrod.Bernot and the third incumbent in the race, Trustee Scott Chaplin, reported the most contributions among the trustee candidates.Bernot reported nearly $1,635 in total contributions as of the March 31 filing deadline, of which her campaign had spent about $1,423.Her single biggest contributor was her in-laws, Connie and Kevin Grady of Olney, Mo., who gave $500. Other top contributors to Bernot’s campaign were Bill Roberts of Earthworks Construction ($400), local builder Duane Stewart ($200), and Brian and Carol Farris, who chipped in $150. Carol Farris is Bernot’s campaign treasurer.Chaplin collected $1,535 in pre-election campaign contributions and spent $614 prior to the election. He had several $100 contributors, including Marc and Debbie Bruell, Johnny Weiss, David Mork, Jack Sebesta, Bill Flanigan, and several more growth-control minded members of the town’s Economic Roadmap Group, Laurie Loeb, Bill Spence and Frosty Merriott.Foulkrod and Maggert each had pre-election contributions totaling less than $1,000 as of the March 31 filing deadline.Spending for all of the trustee and mayoral campaigns was on the usual election paraphernalia, including yards signs, literature, postage and newspaper and radio advertising.
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Former Carbondale trustee Katrina Byars said she wants to bring a voice of environmental sustainability to the commission, and believes her opponent has served long enough.